Social Work Essay on Discrimination

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November 23, 2013

social-work-essay-on-discrimination

Discrimination within Employment Sector in Nigeria and UK

Discrimination is the act of denying someone an equal opportunity because of the differences between the offender and the victim. The differences can be gender, race, and religion among many others. Nigeria and UK have laws that attempt to ensure equal opportunity for every person in relation to the mentioned differences. The Nigeria’s constitution under Section 42, Chapter IV pledges the right to equal opportunity in employment. In contrast, UK has a specific law on sex discrimination in the workplace. The SDA (Sex Discrimination Act) 1975 advocates for equal opportunities in employment, education, and transport for both sexes (Edwards and Zhang, 2008). The law covers various aspects of employment including recruitment, promotion and transfer opportunities, training, dismissal, redundancy, terms and conditions, and dismissal. The Equality Act 2010 also guarantees the right to freedom from workplace discrimination on the grounds of sex.

UK workplace performance appears to be better than Nigeria performance in most sectors. In general, female employment rates are higher in UK than those of Nigeria. Further, discrimination against women in the workplace authority is high in Nigeria as compared to UK. In both countries, women are under-represented in supervisory position. Studies indicate that women face many challenges as they continue to fight for their rights because of men domination in the relevant organisations (Dicken, 2007).

Britain’s women still face unequal representation in the workplace authority, despite the enactment of Sex Discrimination Act. Since 1975, when the act was passed, gender gap between men and women in authority still exists. This goes in line with sexual harassment against women because they are treated as inferior to men. According to the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, there is still gender discrimination in supervisory or managerial positions. The commission’s report released in 2009 indicates that many women occupy clerical and secretarial jobs and are significantly underrepresented in executive positions (Edwards and Zhang, 2008). The observation is attributed to professional qualifications, where few women have a third-level qualification, which is essential in promotion considerations.

Edwards and Zhang (2008) documents that OECD reports of 2008 indicated that 66.3% of women and 78.4% of men were employed in Britain, while less than 15% of women occupied managerial positions. Pregnant women are the most affected regarding discrimination because employers avoid hiring pregnant women, particularly in executive positions. This is because pregnant women are less likely stay at work as compared to men. A managerial position is considered tricky and involving, as the manager is expected to lead, control, organise, and make decisions all the time. Thus, pregnant women or those with the possibility of being pregnant are locked out of the selection process. In contrast, in Nigeria, only less than 10% of women were in managerial positions in 2008…”

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