Pregnancy discrimination is a form of employment discrimination in which a female is hired or fired due to her pregnancy. Many women face this problem during and after their pregnancy. This unfair treatment includes denial of time off for pregnant employees and refusal of promotion in many cases. Moreover, it refers to unfavorable conditions for a pregnant woman during her job.
PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION IN NIGERIA
In Nigeria, Pregnancy discrimination rate is comparatively high as compared to other regions of Africa. The female employees risk getting fired, if it is not within the given time frame of getting pregnant. An employer cleared his views about pregnancy discrimination in an interview. He stated clearly that he would not employ married women or women who intend to get married in his firm. Apparently, he is not willing to deal with pregnant women and their “problems”.
EFFECTS OF PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION
Pregnancy discrimination certainly has negative impacts as any other form of discrimination. Its effects include increased levels of postpartum depressive symptoms for mothers. Furthermore, it leads to lower birth weights in children and lower gestational ages, hence increased numbers of doctor visits for babies.
CAUSES OF PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION
The main cause of pregnancy discrimination is the presence of fear factor in the employers. Many employers have their fears and insecurities which pushes them to discriminate on the grounds of pregnancy. Some of these fears include but not limited to prejudices against working women and insufficient resources to provide overtime pay for other employees to fulfill the duties during leave.
VIEWS OF RITAMAYEN BASSEY
A Nigerian resident, Ritamayen Bassey, shares her views about the position of the law when it has to do with pregnancy discrimination in Nigeria. Ritamayen is a lawyer by profession and a feminist working for the rights of women in Nigeria.
Listen to her!
SURPRISING STATS AND FACTS
This atrocity is a major issue for females living in Africa. The following are shocking stats about pregnancy in Africa.
‘The percentage of live births as a result of unwanted pregnancy in the U.S. from 2013 to 2014, by ethnicity is alarming. Almost 12 percent of live births among black women are the result of unwanted pregnancy.’
Similarly, another source reveals the following stats.
‘One out of ten women in Africa is willing to end or delay childbearing’.
The main reason of this is obviously the fear of discrimination at work that women have to face once they are pregnant.
On the whole, pregnancy discrimination is an unfair action and opposed in various countries in the world. It’s a basic right of every female to get equal opportunities of work no matter what the circumstances are. After all, the pregnancy of a woman never affects her capabilities and intelligence. That is why I personally suggest that employers work with pregnant women and let them utilize their potential effectively.
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