On June 29, 2022, the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) trained thirty (30) leaders of the National Women Committee of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on social issues affecting effective union organizing. This took place at a workshop put together by the Union leadership in furtherance of their annual tradition of organizing capacity-building programs for members.
At the workshop, Aderonke Ige, Associate Director, CAPPA, facilitated a session on Gender-based violence and harassment at home and workplace. Designed to deepen participants’ understanding of scenarios and perspectives of gender-based violence and workplace harassment, the session utilized different learning tools to engage participants in practical exercises that unpacked the different forms of gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence includes sexual, physical, emotional, psychological, and economic acts that intimidate, undermine, abuse, and cause harm and suffering to a person. Although sexual and physical abuses are the most talked about forms of GBV, it doesn’t make other forms of gender violence less grave. During a values clarification exercise, participants learned the importance of institutionalizing support systems amongst themselves as women unionists, and the power of collectivism in dismantling endemic gender-based harassment at home and in the workplace.
The highly interactive training also enlightened the women on ways to engage in strategic advocacy, especially by invoking the International Labour Organization treaty, ILO Convention No. 190 (C190) (the first international treaty to recognize the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, and to which Nigeria is a signatory) to establish workplace processes that eschew and discourage all forms of gender-based violence.
At the end of the workshop, participants thanked CAPPA for helping them understand all the subtle and pronounced forms of gender-based violence. The training of the trade women unionists falls in line with CAPPA’s strategic-partnership goals to build the capacity of its partners and network through knowledge transfer, and the provision of technical support.