International Workers’ Day is here again. It is a day that workers are celebrated in the whole world. During this celebration, women are always on the frontline. They showcase their passion, resilience, and above all, their love for service and humanity.
These people are said to be going through some challenges including their wages. They put their entirety in the work but get little for their services.
However, the President of the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, Comrade Oyinkan Olasanoye, speaks with WW on this premise and why women cluster lower-paid sector than men.
The world celebrated May Day yesterday in the midst of COVID-19 lockdown across the world. What was different?
The pandemic that leads to isolation was the difference. It provides opportunities for workers to see various issues in their various perspectives. For instance, the effects of health and occupational hazards, the effects of isolation and workplace, and transportation to and from work as new struggles we need to bargain upon. Also, it removes the funfair of the day to honour the dignity of labour.
Is the issue of the gender pay gap “an overrated feminist myth” or reality?
The reality of the gap in remuneration is a result of structured inequality. There is no visible pay gap in Nigeria since paying for males and females at the same job level, the same function and same company are equal. But the inequality reflects under usage of women’s skill and expertise. Men only dominate in higher pay jobs and sectors, while women cluster in lower-paid sectors
Bringing it closer home, does it apply in Nigeria, and in what sectors is it most common?
I am not aware of such a thing.
What needs to change about policies on maternity leave and child care with regards to working women?
Most organizations in the Private sectors are still discriminating in employing women of reproductive age. Where employed there is subtle discrimination on maternity care.
What has been your personal experience?
I have seen ladies not been promoted because they went on maternity leave during the appraisal period, or being told she cannot go on maternity leave for specific periods.
What of working women in the informal sector?
Women in the informal sector are also been affected because they are majorly daily earners. They, therefore, do not give the required attention to their babies.
Is the issue of the gender pay gap a matter of policy or discretionary?
Discretionary, I suppose.