The women’s leadership and members of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have urged the government to accelerate the ratification process of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190 on violence and harassment in workplace.
They believe that the ratification of this convention will help create a violence-free work environment for women.
The Vice Chairperson of TUC, Philomena Aba Sampson, made this statement on behalf of the leadership and women within the trade union during this year’s International Women’s Day held in Tamale, the capital of the Northern Region. The event, themed ‘DigitAll: Innovation and technology for gender equality – the role of trade unions’, highlighted the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in the digital space, and addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence.
Furthermore, the group called on the government to fast-track the ratification of the ILO convention on maternity protection, which would extend the period of maternity leave to, at least, 14 weeks.
Ms. Sampson argued that the current period of 12 weeks is insufficient for nursing mothers to properly care for their new-borns and recover from birth complications. With extended maternity leave, she said nursing mothers can return to work with renewed energy and contribute to the development of society.
International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 to commemorate the contribution of women toward building a more equitable and just society. According to the Vice Chairperson of TUC, the day provides an opportunity for women to reflect on progress made, call for positive change, and accelerate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of the country and communities.
In addition, she noted that technological advancements are affecting every aspect of work from the way “we work to the types of jobs that are available. There is a growing concern about how the changing nature of work would impact women; and in times like these, the role of trade unions in advocacy and campaigning becomes even more crucial.
Among other things, the ILO Convention 190 protects workers and other persons in the world of work, including employees as defined by national law and practice as well as persons working irrespective of their contractual status, persons in training – including interns and apprentices, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, jobseekers and job applicants, and individuals exercising the authority, duties or responsibilities of an employer.
This convention applies to all sectors, whether private or public, both in the formal and informal economy and whether in urban or rural areas.