Equality for All – A Conversation Hosted By 360Hub in Partnership with Techuncode and the Lagos State Government.
Conversations around equality in the corporate world and in society at large have gone on for years longer than our fingers can count. Year on year, communities continue to strive towards attaining it. This is because it’s been proven that many positive realities hide behind the balance that it can bring.
In 2012, the World Bank’s World Development Report proved that there’s a positive connection between gender parity and economic performance as well as growth and productivity. This stresses the importance of having conversations around the subject and having a clear-cut plan towards achieving it.
With this in view, Techuncode – a tech media platform, and the Lagos State Government partnered with 360 Creative Hub to host a conversation on equality as part of their Community Discourse initiative.
Based on the design of the Community Discourse program, conversations bordering on other critical topics were also held within other tech and innovative hubs.
In general, the program focused on hosting niched conversations within smaller communities. The aim of this was to get insights from the youths and other players in the private sector to support the process of coining resolutions from this years’ Lagos Economic Summit. Hence, the discussions were held a few days before the commencement of the summit.
360 Creative Hub’s discourse on equality.
360 Hub’s discourse was tagged Equality for All – the Role of Youths and Women. The session featured seasoned speakers like Gbeminiyi Shoda, Group Secretary, VFD Group, and Oludare Akinlaja, Managing Partner, Oludare Akinlaja Research and Development Company.
During the discourse, the speakers maintained that the responsibility of achieving equality is fairly split among us all.
Irrespective of age, background, or gender, equality is a global need that affects every human. As such, it is important that we all play our roles in achieving and maintaining it.
In many cases, cultural and societal set-ups serve as backbones for inequality. While culture cannot be thrown out of the water completely, there’s an increasing need for us to re-evaluate its position and fine-tune its effect on work, life, and everything in between.
For instance, culture places child care majorly in the hands of the mother. This idea goes on to affect the length of paternity leave given to men at work. In some places, bosses tend to allow almost no leave at all. While in places where leaves are given, the duration is quite insignificant compared to what women get.
This structure makes it difficult for men to respond to the domestic realities of their families. Sadly, this could have serious negative effects on the child, mother, and father. This proves that many ideas need to be unlearned and more balanced ideas need to be circulated.
Recommendations from the discourse
To help accelerate the pace of the state’s journey towards achieving equality, the hub recommended the following after its lengthy discourse.
1. Specific Legislation should be put in place to encourage equal opportunities for women and youths.
Policies implemented by the state must factor equality as a cardinal value. Equality should not be perceived or treated as goodwill. Instead, it should be treated as a right backed by the law. Labour laws, for instance, should contain specific hiring, promotion, and remuneration metrics that deliberately give equal opportunities to young people, and women.
2. The State’s Civil Service should lead by example in eliminating gender privileges or disadvantages and promoting equality.
To further promote the ideals of equality, institutionalized gender roles must be addressed. Women should have as much right as men to sit on the high tables in organizations. Also, the gaping disparity between the remuneration for female workers and male workers occupying the same roles must be reconciled.
3. The Government should focus more on collaboration with the private sector in driving equality
The Lagos State Economic Summit – EHINGBETI is a perfect example of solicited collaboration. The government needs to work actively in partnership with the private sector to drive equality. Policies, initiatives, and legislation in this regard should not be centred on government activities only but should cut across, through a collaborative effort.
The host also declared the need for increased trust on the side of the government towards the private sector when it comes to collaboratively design solutions that affect society in general.
Interestingly, the same request was made by the founder of Future Africa, Iyin Aboyeji during the first session of Day 2 EHINGBETI.
4. The government should do more in bolstering the work of its agencies and institutions on gender issues
There’s been a lack of regular and reliable gender data and research in action plans, impact assessments, and monitoring mechanisms in all sub-Saharan countries. Therefore, it is necessary to bolster efforts to equip the staff of government agencies with basic skills relating to gender issues. Without this, critical policies relating to equality will continue to come out flawed.
This can be done by;
(a) Creating dedicated gender units in the ministries concerned, and
(b) Providing regular formal training.
5. For equality to be possible, there is a need for investment in Capacity Building for Young People and Women
The equality conversation is not practical without the competence and capacity conversation. Many times, efforts at achieving equality have been futile because of the lack of the right competence among the target segment.
6. Beyond biennial or annual events, there is a need for institutionalized constant engagement between the government and these specific demographics; women and youths.
The government should be in touch with the realities from time to time, through platforms that are reflected in all sectors of the economy; collecting data in real-time, and designing specific solutions with the context in mind.
These recommendations were presented at the recently concluded Lagos Economic Summit and were duly considered during the event.
The Lagos State Government closed the curtain on its 3-day economic summit also known as EHINGBETI on Thursday, the 18th of February 2021. The event featured thought leaders and several stakeholders within the private and public sector of the state’s economy and has birthed new resolutions that will go on to shape the realities that will be obtainable within the state in the coming years.
About 360 Creative Innovation hub
360 Creative Innovation Hub is a fashion-centric hub that accommodates creative and fashion entrepreneurs who are passionate about design. Located in Surulere, Lagos Nigeria, 360 hub is home to many talented designers across the state.
The hub provides top-class facilities to its community of designers and helps them create an environment where ideas are easily exchanged and creativity runs free.
Techuncode, formerly known as AskIfa, is an independent online tech-centric media. The brand has a clear cut mission of making tech-related contents more appealing to the African reader with the intent of encouraging them to engage more with technology and inspire her audience to create tech solutions of their own.