COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE WOMEN CONFERENCE ORGANISED BY THE NATIONAL UNION OF TEXTILE, GARMENT AND TAILORING WORKERS OF NIGERIA (NUTGTWN) HELD AT THE MICHAEL IMOUDU NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LABOUR STUDIES (MINILS) ILORIN, KWARA STATE FROM THURSDAY, 2ND TO FRIDAY, 3RD NOVEMBER 2017

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BACKGROUND
The 4th National Women Conference of NUTGTWN took place at the MINILS, Ilorin, Kwara State from Thursday 2nd to Friday 3rd November, 2017. The Conference attracted over 100 delegates and observers drawn from Textile and Garment factories and affiliated self-employed Tailors in Nigeria. (See the attached list of participants). Participants from National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber Leather and Non Mettalic Products Employees (NUCFLAMNPE), affiliates of INDUSTRIALL Council in the country also attended.

OPENING CEREMONY
The opening ceremony came up on Thursday, 2nd November 2017 with the following in attendance: the President of NUTGTWN, Comrade John Adaji; the General Secretary and Vice President IndustriAll Global Union Federation, Comrade Issa Aremu mni, Resident Representative of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) was represented by the Project Manager, Mrs. Remi Ihejirika; representative of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Rita Goyit (Head, NLC Gender and Youths Policy), representative of the Director General of Michael Imoudu National Institute of Labour Studies, Dr. John Onaeko. The royal fathers were not also left out as the ceremony witnessed the presence of His Royal Highness Abdul Rasaq Adegboyega Afolabi, the Olojoku of Ojoku and His Royal Majesty (Dr) Abdul Rasaq Adebayo Abioye, Olukotun of Ikotun.

Veterans of the labour movement who were also past Chairpersons of the Women Committee were present as follows: Comrade Dorcas Ademola, Comrade Rita Ogbeni, the immediate past chairperson, Comrade Latifat Okanlawon.

Resource persons at the programme were Comrade Rita Goyit, Head, Gender and Youth Policy of NLC, Mrs. Remi Ihejirika, Project Manager, FES; Mr. Kehinde Gegele; Mrs. P. O. Alaya, Snr. Training and Development Officer, MINILS.

CONFERENCE THEME
The theme “Women Rights are Workers’ Rights” compliments the Union’s efforts at deepening the involvement of women members in Union leadership. It also provided opportunity for further integration of self employed tailor members into the Union structure.

CONFERENCE RESOLUTIONS
After exhaustive 2-day deliberations (on Thursday, 2nd and Friday 3rd November, 2017) the conference resolved as follows:

CONSOLIDATION ON THE PAST ACHIEVEMENTS ON WOMEN PARTICIPATION
Acknowledged progress made by NUTGWN in areas of formation of women committee, women membership drive, women leadership at branch, state, zonal and national levels and women education,

Noted union’s efforts in supporting women participation as evidenced in the election of Comrade Chichi Emeogo as Deputy President at the Delegates Conference in 2004. Since then more women have emerged in leadership positions at National, Zonal and Branch levels. recently, three women from the union were elected into various positions during the last Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) State Women Committee – Comrade Latifat Okanlawon as Chairperson of NLC Women Committee in Ogun State, Comrade Rifquot Olatunji as Assistant Secretary NLC Women Committee in Kaduna State, Comrade Stella Jangbori as Ex-officio NLC Women Committee in Kano State and Esther Toju as Ex-officio, NLC Women Committee in Edo State. In furtherance to this, the Union also put in place an affirmative action since year 2000 providing that at every Branch election, one position must be left to be filled by a woman. The Union has also sponsored the women including those employed by the union to training programmes and conferences both locally and internationally

Observed that women participation has positively impacted on the union in organizing, enhanced bargaining power and defense of workers’ rights

Appreciated the commendable roles of leadership of the union and women committee in this respect

Commended the Union leadership in particular, for their commitment to creating opportunities for women members and strengthening women involvement in union structures in line with IndustriAll policy

Observed that more need to be done to enhance women participation

DEEPENING GENDER EQUALITY
• Reaffirmed commitment to the gender equality policy of both the NLC Industriall Global Union Federation and in particular the 40% representation in union leadership structure which the Union subscribes to as an affiliate
• Reiterated commitment to ensure NUTGTWN’s compliance with the 40% women representation in Union structure.
• Called for Gender Equality and Empowerment stressing the need for employment of women in all sectors of the economy without bias and discrimination
• Expressed concern about the discrimination, victimization and in extreme cases job losses suffered by women on resumption from maternity leave particularly under contract and outsourced employment
• Expressed concern about growing gender discrimination and gender based violence at work and in the community.

TOWARDS INCLUSIVE UNION
• Urged the Union and other affiliates of IndustriAll to further strengthen the campaign against precarious work as greater number of women are caught up in precarious work with low wages, prolonged work hours and all forms of discrimination and rights violation.
• Urged the Union and other affiliates of IndustriAll to lead the campaign as all forms of violence against women workers and champion the call for inclusion of women workers in decision making at work.
• Called on IndustriAll Global Union Federation to strengthen the platform for women development through workshops and skills training for women leaders
• Urged that the Unions continue to train, mentor and enhance the capacity of women workers to ensure that they play more active/visible roles in Union leadership at all levels.
• Called for special support for women in informal employment particularly self employed tailors. Women tailors require skill improvement training and access to credit facilities
• Commended the Union for the education and capacity development of women members and urged that women committee work with union leadership to further deepen this process

STATE OF THE NATION
• Expressed concern that in spite of the official tough stance on corruption, corruption is still prevalent at all levels of governance..
• Urged that the current administration resist the urge to breed some sacred cows in the fight against corruption.
• Commended the Head of Service, Mrs. Winifred Eyo Ita for her principled stand on the recall of the former chairman of Presidential Task Force on Pension Reform, Abdul Rasheed Maina.
• Called on the Federal Government to arrest and prosecute anyone found to have corruptly enriched himself/herself with public fund.
• Expressed concern about fragmentation and non-payment of salaries by many State governments stressing that women and the household are badly affected by delayed and non-payment of salaries.
• Condemned the recent callous murder of Mallam AbdulMumuni Yakubu, the Branch Chairman of NASU in the Science and Technology Technical Education Board (STTEB). We commiserate with the family and the workers of Kogi State over this sad development.
• Urged the NLC to ensure that the killers are brought to justice and the family compensated for this untimely death.
• Called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) across the States to intensify the struggle against the State Governors and ensure prompt payment of salaries.
• Called on the Federal Government to immediately constitute the Committee on Minimum Wage
• Called on the President to connect more to Nigerian workers and hold his appointees accountable

APPRECIATION
The Committee express appreciation to the leadership of NUTGTWN particularly the President, Comrade John Adaji and the General Secretary, Comrade Issa Aremu mni for the commitment for women empowerment and development.

We also express appreciation to the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung for the consistent support for workers education and in particular women capacity development in the Union over the years.

Also, our appreciation goes to the Management of Michael Imoudu National Institute of Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin under the leadership of Alhaji S. I. Alabi for their support enjoyed during our trainings and other programmes. Also to Dr. F. B. Onaeko, Director, Trade Union Education who represented the Director General at the programme and the following royal fathers for their presence and immense contribution at the programme:

ELECTIONS
Mrs. Remi Ihejirika of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) acted as the returning officer assisted by the Gender Desk Officer of NUTGTWN, Mrs. Medinat Balogun. The following officers were elected to serve as National Women Committee officers for the next four years:

Funmilayo Issa - Chairperson
Nimota Akinsanya - Deputy Chairperson
Fridaos Oshodi - Vice Chairperson
Victoria Onunze - Vice Chairperson
Tolani Ishola-Ajala - Assistant Secretary
Charity Ogbonna - Ex-Officio
Islamiyya Adegbolagun - Ex-Officio
Eunice Edo - Ex-Officio
Joyce Ishegh Mnena - Ex-Officio

SIGNED:

Filed in: Women and Gender

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