Domestic workers ask for social protection package

The Domestic Services Worker’s Union has called on the government to develop a social protection package that will address the peculiar needs of domestic workers.

The Union is of the view that the package should be similar to that of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty.

Madam Eva Atakpa, the Chairperson of the Union urged the government to also review the bureaucracy and criteria for accessing loans under the stimulus package for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enable domestic workers, who had started small businesses to also benefit from it.

The Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT) under the Women’s Voice and Leadership Project supported by Plan International Ghana with funding from the Global Affairs Canada, is organizing a series of activities aimed at engaging government and other key actors to ensure that government interventions to address COVID-19 impacts were gendered.

The Project also seeks to support NETRIGHT members and other women groups to continue to reach out to communities especially women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the activities outlined for its COVID-19 pandemic Project titled: “Addressing Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Women and Girls, NETRIGHT in collaboration with the Leadership of the Domestic Services Worker’s Union organized a meeting to discuss the fallout of COVID-19 and its implications on their livelihood.

She commended government for the passage of the Labour (Domestic Worker) Regulations, 2020 (L.I 2408).

The Regulation recognizes domestic workers in their own rights as workers stipulated under the Labour laws of the country.

She said the absence of a regulation in the wake of the pandemic hugely affected their working conditions resulting in untold hardships and poverty.

She said with the passage of the L.I 2408, “we are hopeful that this will help regulate domestic work leading to an improvement in our working conditions.”

The Chairperson said due to the pandemic and the fear of employers exposing their families to the virus, contracts of many domestic workers were terminated resulting in job loss, which affected their livelihoods and living conditions.

On domestic violence, she said live-in domestic workers continued to face a lot of uncompensated workloads and assault, harassment, sexual exploitation, physical abuse and denial of their income.

“We, the Domestic Services Workers’ Union pledge our support to educate our members and also call on government through the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to educate employers and the public to make sure the new LI 2408 is applied and enforced,” she added.

She expressed gratitude to the NETRIGHT for giving them the platform for a collective and stronger voice to create awareness on their specific issues and demand for redress.

The Chairperson congratulated all informal economy workers for their hard work and contribution towards the growth of the economy and urged the government to put strategic policies in place to promote decent jobs for all workers.

Mrs Patricia Blankson Akakpo, Programme Manager of NETRIGHT presented some relief items and Personal Protective Equipment to the leadership of the Union.

Source: GNA

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