HEIR Women Hub recently ran a research titled Addressing Gender Barriers against Young Women Career Development in Nasarawa State. This was made possible with the support of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund.
When we asked the young women we interviewed on their personal experiences on Gender barriers we got some important information.
In terms of whether or not the participants had experienced or witnessed any workplace gender barriers, 28 (56%) of them reported that they had not while 22 (44%) of them answered in the affirmative. Specifically, for those who have experienced or witnessed any form of gender barriers, the dimensions of gender barriers can be classified under the following themes: organisational culture that is restrictive towards attaining leadership positions for women, the assignment of strategic roles to men due to some pre-conceived notion that women cannot effectively deliver, and the struggle to balance work responsibilities with domestic/child care.
Only 3(6%) of the interviewed women admitted that they had been victims of sexual harassment at their workplace. Although five more women reported sexual harassment as a form of gender barrier at the workplace, interestingly, they all strongly emphasized that they were not the victims but that they had witnessed or heard about their colleague or friend being sexually harassed. This is suggestive of some sort of feeling of embarrassment and shame associated with the issue of sexual harassment.
This is to show that there is a huge gap that needs to be closed and we call on major stakeholders to come together to ensure that the workplace is safe for every young woman.
©️ HEIR Women Hub