GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AT WORKPLACE: CASE STUDY OF EGOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

ABSTRACT

This study however examines gender based violence at workplace using Egor Local Government, Edo State, Nigeria as a case study. A sample of 80 was selected from the Local Government. The study was guided by three research questions and two hypotheses. The following the objectives of the study: to investigate the prevalence of gender-based violence at Egor Local Government of Edo State, to assess the consequences of gender-based violence on the performance of workers of Egor Local Government of Edo State and to determine the efforts taken by the state government in curbing gender-based violence at workplace in all the organizations in the state.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the Study

Nigeria as a country is now overcoming the problem of gender-based violence all aspects ranging from intimate partner violence, stalking, assault, rape, and harassment affect workers and their workplaces across the country every day. During conflict, the situation of women and girls was more severe than that of their male counterparts due to gender specific violence and inequalities exacerbated by the conflict. The problem in this post-conflict period is to maintain a sustainable balance in addressing all forms of violence against females by put a stop to the prevalence of culture of impunity, while ensuring the promotion of their active involvement in the peace-building process in keeping with the commitments to promote and protect females’ human rights.

Starting with gender stereotypes that keep women from achieving education and job preparation on par with men, women workers hold positions in lower-wage and lower status jobs. Women are expected to provide primary unpaid care work to their families and are often discriminated against by government and workplace policies that ignore or penalize women during pregnancy and after pregnancy. Gender violence is a global reality that persists in all societies and human aspectirrespective of class, income, culture or educational attainment. This study focuses on gender based violence at workplace, a form of gender-based violence, which is defined here as any act of violence resulting in physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, girls or men, including threats of such act, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty at the place of work.

Since the rampant involvement of women in politics and labour market in Nigeria, it is therefore pertinent tosay that the problem of gender based violence including sexual violence in the workplace is on the rise. Though there has been no major study assessing the prevalence of Gender-Based Violence in different workplace settings in Nigeria, human rights activists noted that more women are falling victims to sexual harassment at the workplace ranging from ordinary remarks to forced sexual relations. Yet the majority of victims keep silent and the harassers go unpunished for their deeds. Though men may also be subjected to such violence several studies have revealed that the victims in most cases are predominantly females. Whether it is the public, private or informal sector the problem has received little social recognition and legal redress because patriarchal values, traditions, norms and even laws discriminate against women. Furthermore, the relations between men and women are governed by norms and values that are essentially formulated by patriarchy. The long history of unequal power relations has given rise to many traditions that lead women to tolerate discrimination and exploitation.

Gender-Based Violence increases poverty rate and hinders developmental efforts. Females who have been sexually violated are at risk of unintended pregnancy and contracting sexually transmitted diseases, like HIV/AIDS. This may cause them to lose access to adequate support as a result of the stigma placed on their chances of surviving. This limits their livelihood opportunities, their ability to access education and health services, and to participate in political processes. As women comprise a significant part of the informal economy and are the primary caretakers of children, the ripple effects of Gender-Based Violence travel far beyond the survivors themselves. Gender-Based Violence also has enormous economic costs at both the personal and social level in terms of health services, police and legal services, and decreased productivity, which impacts family income and food security. This study however examines gender based violence at workplace using Egor Local Government, Edo State, Nigeria as a case study.

 

1.2  Statement of the Problem

The increased segregation of women in low paid and low status jobs and positions are factors contributing to the problem. The current global crisis makes it even more difficult for women to find decent work without giving anything in return. The loss of important public services and public service jobs in many countries, are factors associating with gender based violence at workplaces. Since there is a high concentration of women in public sector jobs, women are disproportionally affected and they are doubly affected: due to their dependency on public services. The crisis, which is also being used as an excuse to scale back human and workers’ rights and cut down jobs, weakens women’s legal protections at work (Glenn S:2009). Women are afraid to lose their jobs and find it difficult to call the attention of the necessary authorities on the gender based violence at their workplaces. In addition, the overall cuts in public spending have negative impacts on the effectiveness of prevention measures and social services provided to victims of violence.

1.3  Research Questions

These are some of the questions the study is designed to answer:

i)            What is the prevalence of gender-based violence at Egor Local Government of Edo State?

ii)          What are the consequences of gender-based violence on the performance of workers of Egor Local Government of Edo State?

iii)        What are the efforts taken by the state government in curbing gender-based violence at workplace in all the organizations in the state?

1.4  Objectives of the Study

The objective of the study is to examine gender based violence at workplace using Egor Local Government, Edo State, Nigeria as a case study and the specific objective are:

i)            To investigate the prevalence of gender-based violence at Egor Local Government of Edo State.

ii)          To assess the consequences of gender-based violence on the performance of workers of Egor Local Government of Edo State.

iii)        To determine the efforts taken by the state government in curbing gender-based violence at workplace in all the organizations in the state.

1.5  Research Hypotheses

To guide the investigation of the issue raised in the problem definition, it is hypothesized that:

i)            There is a significant correlation between gender-based violence and workers’ performance.

ii)           There is a significant relationship between gender-based violence and work motivation.

1.6  Significance of the Study

         This study will be of a great benefit to the state government in providing evidence on the existence of gender-based violence at workplace and also suggest solutions to the phenomena gender-based violence at workplace. This study is also expected to add value to the existing body of knowledge for students, academicians and researchers who may appreciate the problem of gender-based violence at workplace in Nigerian society and equally enhance the understanding of its consequences to the society
Finally, it is hoped that the study would enable policy makers appreciate the problem and come up with appropriate remedies to address the problems associated with gender-based violence at workplace.

 

 

1.7  Scope of the Study

         Egor Local Government Area of Benin City, the capital of Edo state, Nigeria was used for the study mainly because of its heterogeneity in religious affiliation of female resident in the area.

1.8  Limitation of the study

        The study was restricted to Egor Local Government area of Benin City, therefore findings may not apply to the entire entity called Nigeria and the world in general.
Finally, the sample in this research study was disproportionately located in Egor Local Government, Benin City, and so the result may not be a solid representation of the whole state.

1.9  Definitions of Terms

The following terms were used in the course of this study:

Gender-based violence:involves men and women, in which the female is usually the target, and is derived from unequal power relationships between men and women. 

Workplace:  is a location where someone works for his or her employer, a place of employment.

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