A Comparative Analysis Of Gender Discrimination In Management Activities (A Case Study Of Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja)

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A Comparative Analysis Of Gender Discrimination In Management Activities (A Case Study Of Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja)


Women, today, have come to be accepted as the pillars of the smallest economic unit, the family and from them all great people, both male and female, have been birthed. This goes to show that women are forces to be reckoned with in terms of nation building and economic development. However, the special qualities possessed by women have been toned down and played to a minor key due to ignorance on the part of most and lack of concern or appreciation by others. The establishment of structures of inequality against women, as opposed to men, has come to generate the phenomenon of gender discrimination. This study aimed to carry out a comparative analysis of gender discrimination in management activities using a case study of Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja. Questionnaires were administered to gather information from respondents concerning their opinions about the phenomenon. Using the SPSS Package, Chi-square method was used to analyze the data that was obtained. It was observed that gender discrimination, as a result of cultural factors, plays a significant role in the employment process of Nigerian organizations including Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja. Also, educational acquisition plays an important role in eradicating gender discrimination. The basic recommendation is for development of alternative rules, norms and procedures that provide the avenue for structural transformation to protect what rights women have and increase the comprehensiveness of the rights to which they are entitled.

Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisation of the Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 The Concept of Gender Discrimination
  • 2.3 Empirical Issues on Gender Discrimination
  • 2.4 Nature of Gender Inequality
  • 2.5 Gender and the Human Resource Management Function
  • 2.6 Facilitating Gender Equality in Organisations
  • 2.7 Discrimination of Women in Nigeria
  • 2.8 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.8.1 Biological Determinism
  • 2.8.2 Dual Systems Theories
  • 2.8.3 Marxist Perspective

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population
  • 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Instrument for Data Collection
  • 3.5 Validity and Reliability of the Instrument
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.5 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Human Resource is the most significant elements in an organization. Without people, the goals of an entity could not be possibly done. Thus, managers and administrators should consider various factors. One of which is diversity of the employees for this is the core area that would eventually produce effective job outcomes.

Diversity is a common and important HR issue. Employee diversity is discussed as a complicated yet vital goal to achieve for organizational effectiveness. Diversity among employees is beneficial in several ways, including enhancing the quality of work and representing constituents or clients of various backgrounds. However, achieving workplace diversity is bound to engender conflict. Employers must adhere to hiring, promotion and termination practices that do not discriminate people of different races, culture, beliefs, values, ages or sexual orientations.

Considering employee’s diversity is a new way of thinking about maximizing the potential of everyone within the organization. It is basically about providing equality within the organization. Laws are clear that workplace discrimination will not be tolerated. HR personnel must ensure that the policies of the company regarding anti-discrimination are being kept. Diversity is about learning from others who are not the same, about dignity and respect for all, and about creating workplace environments and practices that encourage learning from others and capture the advantage of diverse perspectives.

In various countries of the world, there are many challenges that may impede the advancement of the established labour market. These have an adverse effect on the general economic situation due to the fact that there is a direct and positive relationship between the labour market and the economy as a whole. Therefore, this is an indication that no matter the degree to which these challenges may exist, it is not possible to view any country labeled as being „developed‟ as existing without any inefficiencies. The labour force of any economy can be said to indicate the strength of that economy and therefore, greater participation of graduates must be highly encouraged.

Gender is an explicit issue in women’s history. Throughout the world, most women do not have an equal share of land, credit, education, employment, and political power, in comparison to the men of their society. Yet, in every society, women play vital roles. In rural areas, for example, they perform the bulk of ‘unpaid’ and unappreciated household work, as well as contributing significantly to agricultural production. Approximately half the world’s food is grown by women and an estimated two-thirds of women workers in developing countries work in the agricultural sector (Power, 1992; Rhodda, 1991). Yet many governments (not to mention agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) assign little or no economic value to women’s labor.

Gender-based discrimination is a pervasive and costly phenomenon. Everywhere females find it more difficult than males to access market activities, political power, or health and education inputs. As mentioned in Haussmann, Tyson, and Zahidi (2006) and as cited in (Cavalcanti and Tavares, 2007) “no country in the world has yet reached equality between women and men in critical areas such as economic participation, education, health, and political empowerment.” Gender discrimination has many guises, probably interrelated in their causes and consequences, as they are part of a complex system of social, cultural and economic determinants.

Gender equality rather than gender inequality has become the norm in present-day Western society, at least in theory. Women have the same rights as men and ought to have the same chances. Inequality between the sexes also seems to be gradually disappearing from education.

Labour market discrimination exists when workers with the same productive capabilities receive different rewards based on the population group they belong to. There are different forms which include pre-market discrimination, whereby workers are offered inferior access to education and training and post-market discrimination, which consists of wage and occupation or job discrimination. Wage discrimination occurs when one population is paid less than another without taking into consideration the equal productive results. Occupational discrimination occurs when population is restricted from certain occupations or jobs and/or crowded into others.

Labour market wages is considered the most important source of household income in most economies, and, therefore, a potential source of variation in standards of living and economic equality. Labour market earnings differentials seems, therefore, to present an appropriate window through which social and economic inequities in Nigeria may be analyzed since the level of wage inequality in an economy‟slabour market is crucial to understanding the level of poverty and social stratification in that society. The level of participation of both men and women in the labour force, the amount of time dedicated to economic activities by gainfully employed individuals, the quality of labour and the sect oral distribution of the labour force are important determinants in the level of productivity of a country. For a country‟s development to be meaningful it should enable all willing and able persons irrespective of their sex to fully participate in income generation and remunerate employment. Therefore, with the increased participation of women in the labor force, it had been recognized as an indicator of development in the Nigerian economy.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In every-day conversation and in the literal sense, sex and gender synonymously refer to the state of being male or female. In sociological studies, however, the two concepts are very different: while sex refers to the biological characteristics that distinguish humans into males and females; gender is an achieved status that refers to the social stratification of humans into masculine and feminine categories, as well as the social positions and personality traits that are linked to masculinity and femininity in particular social contexts. Feminine traits include being emotional and dependent, while masculine traits include assertiveness and ambition (Macionis, 2002).

Gender inequality, also referred to as gender discrimination, differentiation or stratification, pertains to the contention that biological differences between the two sexes have been exaggerated and used to justify unfair treatments of the female sex. This value-laden issue has been examined from different perspectives. Some authors, writing under themes of sexism, patriarchy, and androcentrism examine the inequality and unfairness women encounter in a male-centred world (McDowell and Sharp, 1999). Other authors point out the inequality inherent in the class-less and unpaid status of home making -a job that is associated with women-, which contrasts sharply with paid employment with all its benefits, which seem to have been drawn up with men in mind (Sapiro, 1994). Gender discrimination has also been examined from the perspective of international development, specifically, the tendency for development policies to be under-girded by the assumption that male-headed households are the norm; resulting in the exclusion of female-headed households from institutional assistance (Lindsey and Beach, 2000). Within the field of management theorising itself, it has been noted that organisational issues are treated largely from the perspective of men (Saror and Nwasike, 1991).

Our focus in this study is on gender discrimination and inequality in paid work, a phenomenon that stems from the stratification of work into ‘female’ and ‘male’ jobs with superior benefits attending ‘male’ jobs. Work stratification in turn derives from cultural definitions of masculinity and femininity, which are then applied in segregating jobs, statuses, and rewards for men and women. The gender discourse contends that women tend to be placed in inferior categories in all such stratifications. In this paper, therefore, we examine the origin of gender discrimination and women’s experiences of this phenomenon in formal work using the framework of human resource management (HRM). Nigerian examples will be cited where these are available. We hope that the paper contributes constructively toward equitable integration of women in Nigerian work-places.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to carry outa comparative analysis of gender discrimination in management activities using a case study of Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja.

Specifically, the objectives of the study include to;

  1. Analyze gender discrimination in management activitiesin Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja
  2. Identify factors responsible for discrimination in the labour market using Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja
  3. Proffer possible measures which are relatively important towards the eradication of gender discrimination in Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja

1.4 Research Question

The following research questions are formulated to guide this research:

  1. What is the level of gender discrimination in management activities in Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja?
  2. What are the factors responsible for discrimination in the labour market using Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja?
  3. What are the possible measures which are relatively important towards the eradication of gender discrimination in Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  1. HO1 Gender discrimination plays no significant role in the Employment process of Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja.
  2. HO2 Cultural factors do not significantly give rise to Gender Discrimination in Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja
  3. HO3 Educational Acquisition does not significantly play an important role in eradicating gender discrimination in Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja

1.6 Significance of the Study

The researcher was inspired to conduct this study knowing that individual carries the baggage of our personal values, experience, beliefs and perceptions with us everywhere. It is also inevitable for us to meet diverse people inside or outside the workplace. The findings will be significant to students, organizations, management and the academia on how to handle gender discrimination not only in the workplace but in public spaces such as school campus, social gatherings, religious meetings etc. By this study, the academia can acquire new ideas and broaden the knowledge base regarding on gender discrimination that will help to be more informed and to be able to apply these new acquired ideas when being faced with the situation in the near future. The study would be of importance to certain government agencies to formulate labour policies that would positively affect the workings of the labour market, as it, in turn affects both the male and female gender. Lastly, the study will contribute to empirical literature on the subject matter as well as contribute to future studies and serve as a reference for other researchers.

1.7 Scope of Study

This study is an exploratory study restricted in scope to the Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja. The focus was on a comparative analysis of gender discrimination in management activities using a case study of Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

Access to information relevant to the study was the major difficulty the researcher encountered during the data collection. Certain stakeholders were reluctant to grant the researcher interview and others who did were not forthcoming with the information. However there were others who were more than willing and provided adequate information that was needed for the work.

Another limitation has to do with time. The researcher did not have enough time to undertake the research since she had to meet a deadline. This notwithstanding the researcher was able to make proper use of the limited time therefore the quality of the work was not affected. However, it facilitated a detailed and in depth understanding of the study.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Gender Discrimination:

Gender discrimination is unequal or disadvantageous treatment of an individual or group of individuals based on gender. Sexual harassment is a form of illegal gender discrimination.


Management is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a non-profit organization, or a government body. It is the art and science of managing resources.

Comparative Analysis:

A comparative analysis is an essay in which two things are compared and contrasted. In this case, gender discrimination and management in an organization.

1.10 Organisation of the study

This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one included the background of the study, research problem, research objectives and questions as well as limitation of the study. Chapter two contains the literature review. Chapter three includes the methodology. Chapter Four contains the results and discussion of key findings of the study. Chapter Five finally looks at the summary, conclusions, and recommendations based on the findings.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The aim of this thesis was to carry out a comparative analysis of gender discrimination in management activities using a case study of Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja. An empirical analysis was conducted on 150 respondents from different backgrounds, occupying various positions in Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja. A critical examination of this study reveals the following:

  1. Most respondents are of the opinion that there are more males in employment than females in Nigeria.
  2. There are certain preferences used as yardsticks in the employment process of organizations.
  3. The Nigerian environment gives rise to inequality between sexes and in addition, it is not certain whether the Nigerian government supports equality between sexes or not.
  4. Women contribute towards nation building, growth and development, therefore the possibility of eradicating gender discrimination which generally affects the women is certain in order for the nation building process to be successful.

The findings of this research work based on the theoretical framework of the literature review show that fundamental physical and psychological difference, even evolution, bring about male supremacy and female subordination in every society. Also, the participation of women in the capitalist wage labor force will free women off their economic dependence on men. Moreover, the relationship between patriarchy and capitalism has been identified as a factor that has great relevance in the subordination and exploitation of women.

5.2 Conclusion

The idea that women and men are equal and that individuals have freedom of choice is clearly the dominant discourse at the present time. Gender discrimination does still exist despite the dominance of the laws that emphasize individual freedom of choice. It is therefore of great concern that gender discrimination may become invisible and hence ‘not discussible’.

The continued adoption of recruitment, promotion evaluation, and compensation practices based on gender considerations need not persist into the nearest future. This research work has brought to light some of the problems of gender discrimination associated in the Nigerian work environment. It was generally discovered that most advanced countries make substantially better use of their workforce and increase output per capita by discouraging gender discrimination in the labor market. From the findings provided by the hypotheses tested, educational acquisition is believed to play an important role in eradicating gender discrimination. Also, cultural factors give rise to gender discrimination. Finally, gender discrimination plays a significant role in the employment process of Nigerian organizations.

5.3 Recommendation

From the findings and conclusions, the following recommendations are made;

  1. The government should consider the adoption of a bill that constitutes strategies to fight against discrimination in Nigeria. This law must extend laws covering discrimination in Nigeria particularly on grounds of: sex/gender and other factors like ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, family status etc. This would be a giant step to curb the wide spread discriminatory practices currently being experienced.
  2. More research work should be carried out to pointedly identify areas where there are severe cases on discrimination which may have been silenced and help should be proffered by the government, government bodies, non-governmental bodies, labor unions and Civil Liberties Organizations.
  3. It can also be noted that gender discrimination has been condoned by the ignorant people who may have no idea of the fact that their rights are being violated. Therefore, it is necessary that empowerment is given to the women in order for them to acknowledge what rights they have as civilians and citizens of their country.
  4. Attempts should be made to change the prevailing norms, customs and traditions that create an environment for discrimination of women to take place. This could be done by conscious efforts being made to educate traditional rulers and religious leaders as regards the benefits of educating and empowering women.

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