SOCIOLOGY EFFECT OF GENDER DISPARITY ON GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITES
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
One of the broad national and international debates in this globalized world has been on human rights issue in gender terms. Gender inequality, gender disparity, gender segregation, gender conflict, gender liberation and gender discrimination of all sorts are critical points of references in documentary evidences in various conversations locally and worldwide. There is little denying the fact that investing in human capital is one of the most effective means of reducing poverty and encouraging sustainable development in Nigeria, yet, women in general usually have less employment opportunities than men over the world. Any claims and effort then to remove poverty can show results only if they address the issue of gender disparity. In recent decades, there have been large gains, no doubt on comparable levels, in basic rights and opportunities, but despite these gains, the stark reality has not changed. There are still large gender disparities in basic human rights, resources and economic opportunity and in political rights over the world (Geeta Sharma, learning channel.org).
In contrast to less skilled men, less skilled women have experienced growing labour force involvement and moderate wages increases, compared to more skilled women, less skilled women have fallen behind. Women have made great progress in the workplace but disparities persists. On average in 2010, women only made 77cents to every dollar a man earned in the US, there’s still a gender gap that needs to be rectified, so until nations are able to address this issue of gender inequality and resolve it, the vicious cycle of poverty will continue to pervade. This is because poverty leads to and aggravates gender discrimination. Women and girls, who are at the bottom of the social, economic and political ladder in these societies, get even lesser opportunities to have a command over productive resources such as land or credit.
Access to the means of influencing development process is a rare and difficult possibility, and yet, but the same logic, gender discrimination hinders development, so, while denial of basic rights in employment, education, healthcare for women is detrimental to women, this denial, ultimately also harms the society, the nations at large too, by hampering development (Geeta Sharma, learning channel.org).
The gender disparity on government employment opportunity in Nigeria is something that has a lot of controversies and complication. Despite significant progress in female labour force participation, over the years, pervasive and persistent gender differences remain in productivity and earnings across different sectors and jobs. Gender differences in labour productivity and earnings are primarily the result of differences in the economic activities of men and women.
Indeed, men’s and women’s job differ greatly, whether across sectors, industries, occupations, types of jobs or type of firms, while these differences evolve with economic development, the resulting changes are not enough to eliminate employment segregation by gender. Women constitute about half of the population of Nigeria and are known to play vital roles as mothers, producers, managers, community developers/organizers etc. Their contribution to the societies is also more than half as compared to that of men by virtue of their roles in the productive and reproductive spheres (Aina, 1998). It is a system of social stratification and differentiation on the
basis of sex, which provides material advantages to males while simultaneously placing several constraints on the roles and activities of females.
The discrimination and oppression are rooted in cultural beliefs and practices regarding the different gender role, and what needs to change this scenario is not just government efforts but a change in societal norms, in cultural and traditional biases and in general mindsets of people, and in this, the media, the civil society and the youth, the women and girls have lot to contribute. The main focus of this study is to carry out research on the effect that gender disparity posits on the government employment opportunity in Nigeria and possible solutions to be given in order to combat gender disparity in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The degree of gender disparity on government employment opportunity has caused a contention between male and female in the society. Gender has become significant in the understanding of development and development efforts of nations in view of the fact that sustainable human development cannot take place without an equitable participation by men and women. Gender is an important determinant of an individual life experience in Nigeria.
Global based discrimination is a global problem which has occasioned intense gender inequality in many countries of the world. Gender disparity, has created wide gender gaps in many countries of the world with very devastating social, economic and health consequences on the members of the female gender, who have been intensely marginalized and subjugated to the background. The right of women to work without any form of discrimination is recognized and guaranteed by many international and national instruments like Article 2 of CEDAW and section 42 of the Nigerian 1999 constitution. These legislations demand the elimination of gender inequality in the work place, in the choice of profession, in employment opportunity and in the right to promotion, in equal remuneration and job security. Despite all these legislations, the higher the position, for decades, gender-based discrimination in the Nigerian labour market persists practically everywhere, and at all levels. The higher the position in an organization or company, the more glaring is the gender gap. The reality in Nigeria today is that legal, cultural and social obstacles still impede the right of women to work (Ifemeje, Sylvia and Ogugua, 2012).
Gender disparity is a result of the persistent discrimination of one group of people based upon gender and it manifests itself differently according to race, culture, politics, country and economic situation. Considerable factors has been given to the issue of gender disparity at the international level by organizations such as United Nations(UN), the organization of economic cooperation and development(OECD), particularly in developing countries. The causes and effects of gender disparity vary by country as do solutions for combating it. This study is therefore an attempt to study the causes for gender disparity and its effect on the workforce in Nigeria.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS.
The prime subject matter of this research is to determine the effect of gender disparity on government employment opportunity. This study also attempts to find the root causes of gender
disparity that exists in the society. In the course of this research work, the following questions are considered;
1. What are the causes for discrimination between men and women in the organization?
2. What are the effect of gender disparity on women employment opportunity and economic status.
3. What are the possible consequences of gender disparity on the society as a whole?
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Considering the rate of gender disparity on government employment opportunity in Nigeria, it is therefore necessary to identify the factors responsible for gender disparity on employment in Nigeria. This study therefore is carried out;
1. To analyze the causes of the discrimination between men and women in the organization in Nigeria.
2. To examine the effect of gender disparity on women employment opportunity and economic status.
3. To investigate the consequences of gender disparity on productivity and economic growth and development.
1.5 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study sets out to investigate the effect gender disparity on government employment opportunity in Nigeria. It is expected that the findings of this study will help organizations, the government and other institutions in the society at large. The expectation of researcher is that the outcome of this research will be important to fill the gaps of knowledge on the aspects of gender disparity in employment opportunity in Nigeria. This research study will also be an eye opener for total eradication or drastic reduction in gender disparity in Nigeria.
However, this study is also expected to assist women in the society to stand up to their right and freedom in the society and not be seen as weaker vessels in the society but rather be seen as an object of change and development in the society.
1.6 DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS.
There is the need to define concepts that will be constantly referred to in this study, so as to help readers understand their meaning in the context in which they are used. Therefore, the following terms are defined as used in this study:
GENDER: is the socially and culturally constructed role for men and women. It refers to the personal traits and social positions that members of a society attach to being female or male.
SEX: refers to the biological differences between male and female.
INEQUALITY: refers to unequal treatment or perception of individuals based on their gender.
GENDER DISCRIMINATION: is a sociological term referring to the unfair treatment against a person or a group based on class categorization, classification and division.
GENDER STEREOTYPING: refers to a collection of commonly held beliefs or opinion about behaviours and activities considered by society as appropriate for male and female.