The Young Urban Women’s Movement has called on the government to ensure speedy ratification and adoption of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on Violence and Harassment (C190) in the world of work.
It said the ratification of the C190 would help to protect young women in both formal and informal spaces.
This was contained in a communique read at a press conference in Tamale on Friday by the Young Urban Women’s Movement at the end of its third annual conference held in the Northern Regional Capital from Wednesday.
It was signed and read by Hafsa Yurizaa Zakaria, Chairperson of Young Urban Women’s Movement.
The Young Urban Women’s Movement is made up of about 6,500 young women between the ages of 15-35 living in the Upper East, Northern, Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, Volta and Greater Accra Regions.
The communique noted that “In June, 2019, Ghana joined the international community at an ILO Conference in Geneva to adopt the historic Convention on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work also known as C190 and Recommendation 206.”
It said, “The ratification and effective implementation of C190 and R206 will be essential to address the scourge of violence and harassment in the world of work, and particularly the prevalence of gender-based violence.”
It spoke about sexual harassment against young women at work places saying, “Research conducted by ActionAid Ghana in 2018 with a focus on young urban women in the informal sector showed that 44 per cent of this group suffered repeated, sexually oriented behaviour such as touching, rubbing, or groping, 49 percent had been “sexually abused in the world of work”, and 44 per cent had been “harassed more than once.”
The communique also touched on the burden of care/unpaid care work on young women’s ability to secure decent jobs recommending that “The state provide access to free and affordable child care centres to assist mothers.”
It said, “On average, 91 per cent of women and girls spend 10 hours and 30 minutes doing care work. Taking into consideration our cultural and gender socialisation, women are expected to engage in child care, cooking, washing, cleaning of the home etc not regarding the effort and time put into doing these activities.”
It said, “This, we believe, contributes to low productivity, poor access to decent work and high dependency level among women. This, ultimately, has a ripple effect on economic development.”
The communique, therefore, recommended that the state, “promote policies that aim at redistribution of burden of care, unpaid care work” as well as “Educate society on the negative effects of burden of care, unpaid care work on women and girls.”
It also recommended that government, “make budgetary allocation for the establishment of child care centres” as well as “Address the issue of the burden of care/unpaid care work in the ongoing review of the National Gender Policy.”