GenCEN, Gender Ministry educate informal sector on Labour laws.
The Gender Center for Empowering Development (GenCEN) in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has engaged stakeholders in the informal sector to educate them on applications of the National Labour laws.
The training is to advocate and balance women’s rights at the workplace and also forms part of activities to mark the International Women’s Day under the theme: “Balance for better”.
Speaking on the topic: training of the informal sector on the labour laws and women’s right at the workplace” the Project Manager of GenCEN, Elorm Atakli expressed her displeasure on discrimination and violence meted on women at the workplace in the informal sector.
She explained that the workplace is supposed to be source of livelihood for employees, however, it has become avenues for gross human rights violations against women during recruitment processes, pregnancy and maternity days.
Elorm Atakli noted that “women also face a lot of sexual abuse and harassment even though the Ghana Labour Act, 2003, guarantees the rights of women at the workplace and also directs organizations to tackle sexual harassment.”
She indicated that Ghana’s informal sector makes up about 88 percent of the economy and employs about 74 percent women, unfortunately, education and sensitization on labour law is very low.
She therefore called on government and other relevant agencies to engage the informal sector to sensitize and educate organizations on such laws.
“Because this sector is largely unsupervised and sometimes untaxed, they are often not included or regarded in labour conversations which has resulted in the abuse and violation of rights of women in the informal sector,” she revealed.
The Minister for Gender, Cynthia Morrison, urged women in the informal sector to form Cooperatives and Unions to enable them fight for their rights, to enhance the profit margin and address the issue of discrimination among women in the informal sector.
She advised stakeholders to enter into partnership and trusted groups to fight a common goal and achieve success in the kind of business they undertake.
Labour Consultant and Executive Director of Labour Policy International (LPI), Seth Abloso, called on the government to ratify the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention’s 189 and make it applicable in the informal sector for improvement and development of the country.
He said the adoption of the convention would enable the country report annually to the ILO to rectify any mistakes and shortfalls to strengthen both the formal and informal sector. He advised government to resource the labour department to adequately undertake their obligations.
“Lack of human resource is critical to national development and needs to be addressed adequately, and so, enough budgetary allocations must be channeled to the labour department to enable them deliver on their mandate.” he noted