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GENDER ISSUES AND LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVENESS IN NIGERIA LABOUR UNION ACTIVITIES: AN APPRAISAL

BY NWOBODO IJEOMA BLESSING (B.Sc, CDP, M.Sc, GNIM) E-mail: blessnwobodo@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT Organizations are realizing that, in order to adequately address human resource concerns, they must develop long-term as well as short term solutions to gender and leadership issues. This paper on the subject of Gender issues and Leadership Effectiveness attempts to appraise the issue of leadership effectiveness and gender in Nigeria union activities. It specifically looks at the current definitions of Gender, leadership and look at some common theories that relate to leadership effectiveness. It also highlighted resolutions of the 3rd NLC gender conference held in 2008. This paper will shows that there is virtually no empirical evidence that suggests that simply by being male, one has the corner on the —leadership market, especially when it concerns Union activities. And it is my hope that this paper leads to more indepth study on gender issues and leadership effectiveness in employment relations.

KEYWORDS: Effectiveness.

Gender,

Organization,

Leadership,

Trade

union,

INTRODUCTION Women the world over share a common feature; they are marginalized in the sphere of public life. Although they account for roughly one half of every country‘s population, women are yet to be proportionately represented in public life anywhere

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in the world Nwankwo (1996:1). Awareness of gender as a central feature of all aspects of everyday life and society has become more and more widespread. Every leader has a different style and a different approach to the job, but what about gender and leadership do men and women have different leadership styles? Gender and leadership is a subject that is concerned with two main questions: (1) what are the determinants of male/female differences in who assumes leadership positions and in leadership behaviour? and (2) How is leadership a gendered concept? The idea of ‗gender‘ was for the first time brought about in the 1970s by a group of feminists. The underlying factor was to use the notion of gender as a parameter for appreciating the fact that women do not relate to men in much the same way in all circumstances in every culture; and more importantly, that the position of women in society varies considerably. The concept of gender presupposes a social construct as against biological circumstance of men and women. Sometimes the phrase ―sexgender relations‖ is used; this reminds us that there is a link between biological differences between men and women and the social assumption about masculinity and feminity Rowbotham, (1992: 12). Allan Flanders defines industrial relations as a study of the institutions of job regulations. He argues that the only aspect of business enterprise with which industrial relations is concerned is the employment relation between the enterprise and its employees. Trade unions are associations that represent the collective interests of their employees- members in bargaining and negotiating with large employers. Trade unions generally seek to obtain higher wages, reduced working hours and improved working conditions for employees. In addition, trade unions seek to improve workplace safety and to obtain increased benefits, such as health insurance, pensions and disability insurance for employees. Unions also look to protect the employment security of their members, largely by negotiating to implement seniority rules and to eliminate ―at –will‖ employment contracts under which non-union employees traditionally have been subject to dismissal without cause. Appropriately social sciences research is reflecting this increasing concern with gender, especially in the field of work and organization. Sociologically gender is

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basic to the foundation of every existing social order. It is constructed through situational and institutional processes. In other words, gender is...
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