The effect of Gender Discrimination on Women Employment Opportunity (A study of Seven-up Bottling Company, Ikeja, Lagos)



1.1     Background to the study

In recent decades, there have been large gains, no doubt in comparable levels, in basic rights and opportunities, in life expectancy and enrolment ratio for women. But despite these gains, the reality has not changed. There still are larger gender disparities in basic human rights, resources, and economic opportunity, and in political rights –the world over. Gender roles and relations to a large extent shape the process of urbanization. The growth of cities and towns cause social, economic and environmental change that often go beyond city boundaries (Dankelman, 2003). The term ‘gender’ refers to economic, social and cultural attribute and opportunities associated with being male or female (UN-Habitat, 2003).

Gender discrimination is the practice of letting a person’s sex unfairly become a factor when deciding who receives a job, promotion or other employment benefit. It most often affects women who feel they have been unfairly discriminated against, in favour of men. Women face job discrimination and segregation. They consistently find themselves in low-status, low-paying jobs with few opportunities for advancement. They are overrepresented among part-time workers and informal sector operators. Moreover, the kind of paid work that women are more likely to be involved in pays less than the jobs that are predominantly male oriented.

Discrimination in workplaces is now one of the most debated issues around the world. There had been innumerous findings on and strong charges against discrimination (Kelan, 2009). In particular, gender bias has become a common occurrence everywhere in most of the developing countries (Kelan, 2009). Some reports also show that such discrimination happens even in developed countries, though the number of facts may be less compared to those in the developing and least developed countries. There are different forms in which discrimination may be evident at workplaces. In spite of the number of findings and reported cases in governmental and non-governmental institutions, the issue still remains beyond control. Environment around the office, the socio-economic status of women, the religious values and restrictions and above all the social psychology of the people can be figured out as the principal causes behind biasness (Sue, 2005). Unwillingness and lack of attention and supervision by the government adds to this to a great extent (Kelan, 2009). All these have led the issue being complicated more and more. It would be easier to realize the problems in implementing non-discrimination at workplaces in the light of the forms and specific aspects of biasness that women encounter generally (Kelan, 2009).

Victims of gender discrimination lose motivation and morale necessary to perform their jobs effectively. According to a report written by Dankelman (2003), gender bias also leads to a loss in productivity. Things that may lead to this loss of morale and motivation could include jokes about an employee’s gender that imply inferiority, offensive jokes of a suggestive or sexual nature and jokes implying that an employee’s work is smaller or low due to his or her gender. Though, Federal law prohibits this type of workplace harassment, whether by superiors or coworkers

Women who have young children at home may experience push-back when interviewing due to family responsibilities. Although law prohibits a prospective employer from asking about family responsibility outright, it often comes out during the interview process anyway. This may provoke the hiring manager to pass over a qualified female candidate if he feels she will be torn between her home and job responsibilities. If the woman makes it into the position, her supervisor can view her employee file to see that she has young children to cater for. He then may choose to give her less responsibility or assign menial tasks to her that do not fit her job description (Sue, 2005). Although illegal, this practice still exists in offices today. Those discriminated against may feel such strong resentment and loss of self worth that they resort to destruction as a way to get back at the discriminatory employer or coworkers. Destructiveness may manifest itself as physical violence against others, destruction of property or propagation of malicious rumors about people in the company and the company itself (Sue, 2005).

1.2     Problem Statement

According to Shah (2010), women in developing countries receive less education than men. More so, women in general enjoy far less employment opportunities than men globally. 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. So while demand of basic rights (be it education, employment or healthcare for women) determined to women, this denial, ultimately also harms the society, the nations at large too, by hampering development. It is against this background that the researcher is examining the consequences of gender discrimination on employment opportunities in women, as it affects the society at large as it has been proven by Kelan (2009) that it causes workplace violence and hostility in the work environment.

1.3     Objectives/Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of gender discrimination on employment opportunity of women in seven-up bottling company.

This study ought to accomplish the following;

  1. Find out if employment opportunities in seven-up bottling company is different for men and women.
  2. Ascertain the factors responsible for discrimination on women in seven-up bottling company.
  3. Find out the effects of discrimination on women’s work behavior.

1.4     Research Questions

  1. Are employment opportunities in seven-up bottling company different for men and women?
  2. What are the factors responsible for discrimination of women in seven-up bottling company?
  3. What are the effects of discrimination on women’s work behavior?

1.5     Significance of Study

This study amongst others will reveal the effect of gender discrimination on employment, thereby educating scholars, females in the society and the society at large.

1.6     Scope/Limitations

This study is limited to women in the Seven-up bottling company, Ikeja Lagos state.

The major limitation is the time constraint for the gathering of relevant material for the research work. Moreover, since the responses of women formed the data for this study, there will be no proof to ensure that the information provided by the population sample is absolutely accurate.

1.7     Definition of terms

Gender: The state of being male or female which is typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones

Discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the ground of race, age or sex.

Gender discrimination: discrimination based on gender or sex

Women: an adult human female

 Employment: work activity in which one engages

Employment opportunities: possibility of getting engaged in a work

Women employment opportunities: chances of giving women a particular job

Work behavior: the behaviour one uses in employment and is normally more formal than other types of human

Women work: work that is believe to be exclusively reserved for women alone

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