American Journal of Education and Learning

Volume 2, Number 1 (2017) pp 1-13 doi 10.20448/804.2.1.1.13 | Research Articles

 

Gender and Transport Sector Employment: Evidence from Kogi State, Nigeria

Emmanuel O. Okon 1Shaibu H. Richard 2
1 Department of Economics, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria
2 Department of Economics, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria

Abstract

The low employment of women in the transport sector is a trend that has been gradually reversing around the world; this paper seeks to ascertain the effectiveness of policies made to enhance women employment in transportation sector in Kogi State. Specifically, it attempts to examine why employers are still reluctant in employing women in transportation sector in Kogi state. Cross sectional survey design was used to obtain detailed data which were subjected to statistical analysis using several statistical tables and analytical tools. The results revealed that nursing mothers are not offered employment in the transportation sector. Most respondents agree that employers see women as inferior and do not fit in transportation sector. The result shows that government policy has no significant effect in enhancing women employment in transportation sector in Kogi state. Thus, this paper suggests that Kogi state government should ensure that its agencies or parastatals dealing with transport are made to address gender issues in transportation in terms of employment. As such it should consult with women’s associations, commissions and ministries on decision-making, implementation and monitoring of public policies applicable to transportation sector. Also, the state government should establish training programmes for women to learn how to operate public transit vehicles.

Keywords: Gender bias, Transport sector, Lokoja, Labour force, Nigeria.

DOI: 10.20448/804.2.1.1.13

Citation | Emmanuel O. Okon; Shaibu H. Richard (2016). Gender and Transport Sector Employment: Evidence from Kogi State, Nigeria. American Journal of Education and Learning, 2(1): 1-13.

Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Funding : This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests..

History : Received: 25 May 2016/ Revised: 6 July 2016/ Accepted: 22 September 2016/ Published: 29 October 2016

Publisher: Online Science Publishing

1. Introduction

Transport is one of several sectors that have traditionally been regarded as ‘no place for women’. In many respects and in many countries this may still be the case today (Turnbull, 2013). However, transport can make a big difference in increasing women’s productivity and promoting gender equality (UNECE, n.d). In addition to its major contribution to economic growth, transport plays a crucial role in socially sustainable development by broadening access to health and education services, employment, etc.

In the work force of countries like Canada 39% of women are in logistics and transport, 24 percent in Australia, 22% in Hong Kong of which 9% are of senior management positions, 12% of executive positions and 13% of board directorships respectively (Gounna, n.d). Women’s participation in the transport sector is growing in Europe; nevertheless, as a whole, women’s involvement can still only be regarded as minor, particularly in certain subsectors. In fact, transport is one of the most gender-segregated sectors of the economy: in 2005, just 20.5% of the EU27 transport workforce consisted of women, in comparison with an overall female employment rate of 43.5% of total employment (Corral and Isusi, n.d). Nevertheless, the presence of women in the transport sector has slightly increased since 2001, when women comprised 19.8% of the transport workforce compared with 20.5% in 2005 (Corral and Isusi, n.d).

In Nigeria, the 2012 Gender  Report shows that female constitute 49% of the population which is over 80 million girls and women but are generally less empowered than men and are underrepresented in public and political life as well as in formal sector employment including transportation sector (AFDB, 2015). In 2006, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs embarked on the development of a National Gender Policy for Nigeria (Ejiro, 2006). Among others, the goal of the National Gender Policy is to “build a just society devoid of discrimination, harness the full potentials of all social groups regardless of sex or circumstance, promote the enjoyment of fundamental human rights and protect the health, social, economic and political well-being of all citizens in order to achieve equitable rapid economic growth (NCAA, n.d).

Against this background, the major objective of this paper is to ascertain the effectiveness of policies made to enhance women employment in transportation sector in Kogi State. Specifically, the paper attempts to examine why employers are still reluctant in employing women in transportation sector in Kogi state. Kogi state is found in the central region of Nigeria. It is popularly called the confluence state because the influences of river Niger and Benue is at its capital, Lokoja, which is the first administrative capital of modern day Nigeria. Many women in Kogi state are unemployed. Thus, it is important to address this issue because of the high labour-absorption capacity of the transportation sector.

2. Gender and Labour Force Participation Rate in Nigeria: Stylize Facts 

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with a population of over 140 million people. The country’s labour force, that is, economically active population consists of people in the age group 15-59 years. Excluded from this category, however, are students who are having full time education and the housewives engaged in non-labour-market household productive activities (Nwakeze, 2010). The tables 1 and 2 below highlight the labour force participation rates by sex and age composition respectively.

Table-1. Adult (15+) Labour Force Participation Rate (%) by Sex.
Source: Nwakeze (2010).

It is clearly obvious from table 1 that the labour force participation rate of men is higher than those of women. As at year 2010, the percentage of women that participated in labour force is still as low as 40% which is less than half.  This is consistent with the view that “women generally have higher rates of unemployment and especially of under-employment and disguised unemployment than men and finds it difficult to re-enter employment once they lose their jobs” (Lim, 2002). Although there was a slight increase from the 37% in 1990, the gender gap is still very wide.

Table-2. Employment Rates in Nigeria within Age Group
Source: Onyejeli (2010)

Table  2 confirmed that there is gender inequality in the labour force. The employment rates for men are higher than that of women in all the age brackets. A striking observation is that  the highest percentage of men are employed within the age group 45-49  (99.2%) while the highest percentage (69.5%) of women that are employed are  within the age group 50-54. This is not surprising since it is outside the childbearing age bracket of 15 - 49.  It can easily be inferred that women get more actively involved in labour force after the childbearing age. A further break down of the labour into occupational or sectoral distribution is shown below in Tables 3.

Table-3. Percentage Distribution of Person by Industry
Source: UNIFEM (2000).

It can easily be seen from the table 3 that Agriculture and Trade ranked high for both sexes followed by service, while mining recorded the lowest, also, for both sexes. However on a closer look, the table reveals that more women relative to men are engaged in occupations such as Trade which is mostly carried out on retail basis under the informal sector. Similarly, the difference in percentage points between the proportions of males engaged in agriculture is not much which supports the views of Standing (1999) that women are mostly employed in agriculture and informal sectors. In the transport sector,  the table reflects a low percentage employment/participation of women. The transport sector is described as non-traditional for women because the industry employs mostly men and the tasks undertaken are seen as masculine. Therefore, the difficulty faced by women working in the transport sector is recognized as different from women working in traditional areas.

Table 4 shows government investment allocation in the different transport modes from 1962 to 2000 in Nigeria. Without doubt, the road transport mode continuously got highest capital expenditure allocation, while the air transport received the lowest. Indeed, the combination of the seaport and the waterways were below the railways during the period under consideration.

Table-4. Proportional Allocation of Capital Expenditure to the Transport Sub-Sector 1962-2000
Source: Kayode et al. (2013).

Table 5 shows the traffic management agencies/transport provider gender allocation at the federal level in Nigeria.

Table-5. Gender allocation at the federal level (Nigeria)
Note: FRSC- Federal Road Safety Corps, NRC-Nigerian Railway Corporation
Source: Oni and Okanlawon (2011).

2.1. Kogi State: Unemployment, Transportation Sector and Gender Bias

Kogi state is located in the north central part of Nigeria. The state has a land mass of 30,354.74 km, more than the combined land mass of 5 States: Lagos, Imo, Ekiti, Anambra and Abia, and is situated between latitude 6°30’N and 8°50’N, and longitude 5°51’E and 8°00’E (Kogistate.gov, n.d). This makes it the 15th largest state in the country with a total population of 3,314,043 based on 2006 census figures (Kogistate.gov, n.d.).

Figure 1- Map of Nigeria showing Kogi state
Source: Google.com (n.d).

The state is structured into 21 local government areas namely: Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela/Odolu, Ijumu, Kabba/Bunu, Kogi, Lokoja, Mopamuro, Ofu, Ogori-Magongo, Okehi, Okene, Olamaboro, Omala, Yagba East and Yagba West.

Kogi state shares the national demographic advantage of having the young as the majority. About 76.9% and 83% of citizens in Kogi and Nigeria respectively are under 45 years of age (Kogistate.gov, n.d.). Both the state and the nation have not been able to convert this advantage to higher levels of productivity as shown by the ever rising incidence of unemployment, especially among young people (see Table 6 and 7).

Table 6: also shows that the state has an aging population above the national average. The state has a greater than average percent of her population between 45 and 65 and above 65.      

Table-6. The Percentage Distribution of Population by age cohorts, Kogi State, 2007
Sources: National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Social Statistics in Nigeria 2009

Table-7. Unemployment Figures (%), Kogi and Nigeria, 2004-2008
Source: National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Social Statistics in Nigeria 2009

Generally, Kogi state has maintained unemployment levels that conform to the national average. Table 7 shows the percentage unemployment figures. The level of unemployment has been on the increase both in Kogi state and nationally. As at September 2009, the distribution of informal sector (Micro Enterprise) workers by gender in Kogi state shows that more females (1294552) were working in the informal sector than males (588433) (National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 2010). The household distribution of employed persons by economic sector in Kogi state shows 43,360 people (both sexes) in Transportation and Storage (NBS, 2010). According to NBS (2012) the percentage distribution of unemployed persons by main obstacle or problems encountered while searching for job in Kogi state in 2009 shows that gender discrimination contributed 0.6%.

3. Review of Related Literature

Gender role is a set of perceived behavioral norms associated particularly with males or females in a given social group or system (Reiter, 1975). One of the difficulties with the working women is the adjustment with the male collogues there are few working women surrounded by numerically preponderant group of males. This results in a feeling of isolation, and lack of communication and even improper co-ordination in the performance of tasks (Srivastava, 1978). Charles and Brown (1981) showed that shift works affect women differently from men because their psychological structure is different. Women have specific tempered structure because of the menstrual cycle. Hemalatha and Suryanayana (1983) reported that women working irregular hours have more problems than those working regular hours.

There are few studies on nature effects of shifts work on women workers and gender relation within the family (Bosch and De Lange, 1987;Adler, 1991). Better performance of the occupational roles by the women employee depends upon many factors. One of these is related to the physical facilities at the place of work. If the employer is unable to provide an adequate facility then the quality of work performance is likely to deteriorate (Kalbagh, 1992). According to Kumud (1993) difficulties with the working women are the adjustment with the male colleagues. There are few working women surrounding by numerically preponderant group of males. This will resulted in a feeling of isolation and a lack of communication and even improper co-ordination in the performance of tasks.Morse (2001) discusses the occupation stress among the working women, influence of feminism, educated women, women related problem like childcare, low pay, sexual harassment, problems pregnant women, psychological problems, family life, work satisfaction, happiness of working women.

In recent years, major development institutions such as the World Bank, and some other international agencies, integrated gender concerns in transport analysis and developed guidance for the transport sector and, at the same time, encouraged its application in all the transport investments, which it supports. A growing number of academics over the last few years have addressed the relations of gender and transportation (Peters, 2001). Some have investigated the aspect of mainstreaming gender equality into transport policy (Polk, 2005;Greed, 2006). Hamilton et al have shown some problems of promoting gender equality in transport. They point to the fact that earlier research has suggested that the transport sector is gender-biased. They point among other things to the scarcity of women in central positions in policy-making and planning and the failure to incorporate the voices of women users in planning. They also highlight the lack of systematic methodologies which incorporate gender analysis in development and planning.

4. Research Methodology

The population of this study consists of employers, workers, passengers and individuals in transportation sector in Lokoja. The transportation sector include: road and water transport. These categories of people in the population are large. This study used a cross sectional survey design. The purpose of cross sectional survey design is to obtain detailed data and factual information of an existing phenomenon. Random sampling technique was used to give the sample population an equal chance or probability of being selected. Questionnaire was used to gather information about viewpoints of respondents. The total number in the selected sample is one hundred and twenty (120), and 102 questionnaires were retrieved which was a response rate of 85%.

The questionnaire was specifically developed to accomplish the objectives of the study based on detailed information which was gathered from comprehensive literature review and interviews with some employers, workers, passengers and individuals in Lokoja transport sector, Kogi state. The questionnaire is divided into three sections. The first section obtained general demographic information. The second and third sections consist of a set of Likert-type scale items on issues of gender and transport. A four point likert scale was used to extract data. A weighting was given to each point in the scale as follows: Strongly Agree (SA) = 4 points; Agree (A) = 3 points; Disagree = 2 points; Strongly Disagree (SD) = 1 point;

To ensure that the questionnaire is reliable, pilot study with 15 employees was carried out and reliability test performed using the Cronbach's alpha coefficient which is the most common measure of internal consistency ("reliability"). It is most commonly used when there are multiple Likert questions in a questionnaire that form a scale and you wish to determine if the scale is reliable (see table 8).

Table-8. Reliability Statistics
Source: Author’s computation using SPSS 19.

As depicted in table 8, the alpha coefficient for the eleven items is .860, suggesting that the items have relatively high internal consistency.  (Note that a reliability coefficient of .70 or higher is considered  "acceptable" in most social science research situations.). In table 9, the Item-total Statistics gives statistics for relationships between individual items and the whole scale. The last two columns are of utmost concern. Corrected item-total correlations are the correlations between scores on each item and the total scale scores. The result shows strong correlation for most of the items except for AREI (-.437).  The final column shows that if we delete AREI item the Cronbach’s alpha will give .897 – a higher reliability coefficient. However, the item was not deleted because it is a vital item and it inclusion does not drastically affect the overall reliability coefficient.

Table-9. Item-Total Statistics
Note: See tables 9 & 10 for meaning of acronyms
Source: Authors’ computation using SPSS 19.

The data collected for the study were subjected to statistical analysis using several statistical tables and analytical tools. These include descriptive statistics which use percentages for answering questions and inferential statistics such as Z- test was adopted in testing formulated hypothesis of the study at 5% level of significance.

5. Result and Discussion

Figure-2. Sex of Respondents
Source: Field survey 2014

The pie chart above shows that 56% were male respondents while 44% of the respondents were female.

Figure-3. What is your occupation?
Source: Field survey 2014

From figure 3 above it shows that 18 of the respondents were drivers, 22 were motorcyclist while 3 respondents were sailors. 59 respondents were from other occupations.

Figure-4. Age of respondents
Source: Field survey 2014

From the bar chart (Figure 4) above 75.5% belong to the age group of 15-30, while 16.7% belongs to the age group of 31-50, and 7.8% belongs to the age group of 51-70.

Table-10. Investigating women employment in transportation sector in Kogi state
Source: Field Survey 2014
Note: Figures in brackets represent percentages.

Table 10 shows responses to the questions asked in an attempt to investigate why employers are still reluctant in employing women in transportation sector in Kogi state? The table shows that 42.2% of the respondents agree that men discourage bus and truck owners from engaging their wives in transportation sectors.  In some cases, the husband had to give his permiss4ion to allow his wife to continue in other paid employment (Fapohunda, 2011). Nevertheless, 14.7% of respondents strongly disagree with this notion.

The table revealed that 34.3% of the respondents strongly agree that nursing mothers are not employed in the transportation sector. On the contrary 8.8% of respondents strongly disagree with the statement. Nonetheless, Igbodalo (1990) observes that women in Nigeria had to resign their appointment if they wanted to go on maternity leave.

As can be seen on table 10, 40.2% of the respondent agree that employers  see women as inferior and do not fit in transportation sector. Women are regarded to be second-class citizens in Nigeria, but it is these same women that sustain their families in urban and rural cities (Fapohunda, 2011).  Nonetheless, 14.7% strongly disagree that women are inferior. The table further shows that 45.1% of the respondents agree that employers consider distance of a journey as a reason for not employing women in transportation sector while 21.6% strongly agree. On the other hand, 17.6% of the respondents disagree that employer do not considered distance as a reason for not employing women in the transportation sector. Similarly, 15.7% of the respondents strongly disagree on the matter.

In addition, table 10 depicts that 33.3% of the respondents agree that employers do not employ women because they considered them as not having the strength for effective job. However, 30.4% of the respondents disagree with the idea. Transport falls within the so-called “male” professions. The stereotype of the “male” sector may have arisen due to the heavy labour that was required in earlier times. However, with the technological advances that have been made in the transport sector, there are virtually no barriers any longer to full access for women (Cepal, 2011). Finally, table 10 shows that 39.3% of respondents agree that employer considered women as not brave in the transportation sector. In the same vein, 23.5% respondents strongly agree to this point. Nevertheless, 19.6% of respondents disagree while 17.6% strongly disagree.

5.1. Hypothesis Testing

A hypothesis was formulated and tested for the purpose of providing answers to the already stated objective of ascertaining the effectiveness of policies made to enhance women employment in transportation sector in Kogi State. The hypothesis is stated in its null form as follows:

Ho1: Government policy has no significant effect in enhancing women employment in transportation sector in Kogi state and Nigeria in general.

5.1.1. Decision Criterion

Where the z- calculated value is greater than the z- critical tabulated value, we accept the alternative hypothesis and reject the null hypothesis. If otherwise, we reject the alternative hypothesis and accept the null hypothesis.

5.1.2.Z- Calculated

Table-11. Ascertaining the effectiveness of policies made to enhance women employment in transportation sector in Kogi state
Source: Field Survey 2014
Note: Figures in parenthesis represent raw frequencies multiplied by the assigned weight while the others are the raw frequencies.

The respondents’ data to questions from table 11 were collated for the test of the hypothesis above.

5.1.3. Decision

Since z-test calculated of 0.979 < 1.96 z-table value at 5% level of significance, we accept the null hypothesis, which states that government policy has no significant effect in enhancing women employment in transportation sector in Kogi state. Most of government policies are geared toward road infrastructure and not really on gender integration and women empowerment. The result of this study aligns with Tanimowo and Ibrahim (2013) which revealed that over the year’s policies made by government have not really involved women in the transportation sector. Women are often under-represented on national tripartite bodies, organisation-based representative bodies and independent representative organisations such as trade unions or professional associations (Turnbull, 2013).

6. Summary, Conclusion and Suggestions

This paper examines the effectiveness of policies made to enhance women employment in transportation sector in Kogi State. It specifically examined why employers are still reluctant in employing women in transportation sector in Kogi state. Cross sectional survey design was used to obtain detailed data which were subjected to statistical analysis using several statistical tables and analytical tools. The perception of majority of respondents is that men discourage bus and truck owners from engaging their wives in transportation sectors. In addition, nursing mothers are not offered employment in the transportation sector. Most respondents agree that employers see women as inferior and do not fit in transportation sector. Also, women are considered as not having the strength for effective job. The result reveals that government policy has no significant effect in enhancing women employment in transportation sector in Kogi state. Most of government policies are geared towards road infrastructure and not really on gender integration and women empowerment in transportation sector.

The low participation of women in the transport sector is a trend that has been gradually reversing around the world, thus, it is pertinent to address this gender bias experienced in Kogi state because its transportation sector has a high labor-absorption capacity. Thus, this paper suggests that Kogi state government should ensure that its agencies or parastatals dealing with transport are made to address gender issues in transportation in terms of employment. As such it should consult with women’s associations, commissions and ministries on decision-making, implementation and monitoring of public policies applicable to transportation sector.

Furthermore, the government should sensitize the public with positive messages that would help to change the mind-set that transport is a “male activity.” Similarly, the transport unions should be encouraged to establish special units or department or committee for women’s issues in their organizational structure.

Kogi state government should establish training programmes for women to learn how to operate public transit vehicles. This programme should include a transport scheme meant to enhance the livelihood of women. This will help women to acquire commercial vehicles to fend for themselves and their families.

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About the Authors

Emmanuel O. Okon
Department of Economics, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria
Shaibu H. Richard
Department of Economics, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria

Corresponding Authors

Shaibu H. Richard

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