A human rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has petitioned the UN Working Group on the issues of discrimination against women in law and in practice.
He, therefore, requested the body to use its mandate and position to urgently order the Nigerian government and the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, to clear the allowances of Super Falcons.
In the petition dated December 7 2016, and signed by SERAP’s executive director, Adetokumbo Mumuni, the group pointed out that it was unlawful to discriminate in payment arrangements in relation to sex and gender.
The Super Falcons did the country proud in Cameroon last week by clinching their 8th African Women Cup of Nations, AWCON title, beating the host 1-0 in the final.
The team is still in their hotel in Abuja protesting nonpayment of their allowances and match bonuses.
And SERAP is asking the Working Group to “request the authorities to immediately pay each player of the Super Falcons of Nigeria the sum of $30,000 USD for winning the African Women Cup of Nations. This is the equivalent of what the government paid their male counterparts for winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.”
The organization also asked the UN body to mandate the Nigerian authorities to “End pay inequalities across the national teams and demonstrate commitment to fairness and equality in the treatment of both male and female players.”
According to the petition, “SERAP is seriously concerned about the large and stubborn gender pay gap between the Super Eagles’ players and the Super Falcons’ players. The discriminatory treatment of the Super Falcons’ players by the authorities is indicative of the systemic discrimination against women and girls in Nigeria, and the undervaluation of work commonly done by women.
“While a State’s compliance with the obligations under these treaties is assessed in the light of financial and other resources, a lack of resources cannot justify inaction or indefinite postponement of implementation. This is particularly so when discrimination exists, as we believe it is the case with respect to the unfavourable treatment of the Super Falcons’ players.
“SERAP also argues that the Nigerian government cannot use recession and the current economic situation in the country to objectively justify a difference in treatment of the players of the Super Eagles and the Super Falcons on grounds of sex. To hold otherwise is to undermine the integrity of the international human rights treaties and ILO conventions which Nigeria has ratified.
“In fact, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2009) has said that the failure to remove differential treatment on the basis of a lack of available funds is not an objective and reasonable justification unless every effort has been made to use all resources that are at a State party’s disposal to eliminate the discrimination, as a matter of priority.
“SERAP argues that the failure by the Nigerian authorities to pay the players of the Super Falcons as promised violates the players’ right to equal pay, which is a fundamental tenet of gender equality.
“SERAP believes that the male and female national teams deserve equal pay systems that are transparent and value the efforts put in by these players. Fair and non-discriminatory systems represent best practices, consistent with Nigeria’s international human rights obligations and commitments.”