The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Women Commission has taken the campaign for women’s involvement in trade unions to the grassroots level.

Speaking at a special town hall meeting organised recently by the PENGASSAN Zone in Lagos, the National Chairperson of PENGASSAN Women Commission, Comrade Ada Mbanaso, said, the inclusion of women in PENGASSAN decision-making would be advantageous for women in the industry.

According to her, this would offer women a robust platform to confidently pursue positions that were previously perceived as intimidating or challenging for women to engage in.

“Previously, women’s involvement in PENGASSAN was largely confined to the women in PENGASSAN organisation. However, thanks to this commission, we have been empowered with autonomy, a platform, and strong encouragement to pursue higher positions. I firmly believe that the commission has equipped us with everything we need to transcend our previous limitations.

“Our main goal is to bring leadership to the grassroots, as we have observed that national leadership traditionally operates from the top. We have chosen to go beneath the surface, engaging with and understanding the challenges faced by our members. By increasing women’s participation in unionism, we aim to secure leadership positions strategically.”

The Chairperson of Women in PENGASSAN, Lagos Zone, Nikki Duru, also stressed the need to empower and involve women in decision-making within the union.

“Last year, recognising the importance of women’s participation, PENGASSAN created the Women Commission. By providing opportunities and raising awareness, the commission aims to move beyond women’s membership and enable them to take on leadership roles,” she stated.

Duru added that the goal was to ensure that women’s voices are heard and that important issues receive the attention they deserve.

“The commission is dedicated to fostering an environment where women can break barriers and pursue elective positions,” she further stated.

On her part, the Chairperson of Lagos Trade Union Congress Women Commission, Onasanya Adeyosola, emphasised the importance of utilising our collective identity, knowledge, and wisdom to confront the myriad challenges we face as a society.

She said, “We must foster better synergy through networking, allowing us to refine our skills, redefine our personal and collective image, and vigorously defend the rights of our members, regardless of when, how, or where they may face infringement. Let us unite in this endeavour, forging a brighter future for all.”

The Chairman of PENGASSAN Lagos Zone, Comrade Eyam Abeng, said, “A society thrives when it provides women with an enabling environment. In PENGASSAN, led by Comrade Festus Osifo, we have increased women’s representation in leadership roles. We encourage more women to take on leadership positions and strive for a 50/50 representation.”

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