YUWM petitions government to ratify ILO’s C190

Movement Petition
Movement Petition

The Bono Regional Chapter of the Young Urban Women’s Movement (YUWM) has petitioned the government to take steps to ratify the new International Labour Organisation’s (ILO’s) Convention 190 on violence and harassment in the world of work.

In a petition submitted through Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister in Sunyani, the YUWM said “the Convention 190 and Recommendation 206 were the first international legal standards that specifically recognised the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence.

According to the petition jointly signed by Ms Kubura Yakubu, Issah Ayisha and Mary Donkor, the Chairperson, Secretary and Public Relations Officer respectively, the Convention defined broadly the term violence and harassment which included not only physical and verbal abuse but psychological risks and abusive work practices.

It said the convention protected all workers in the formal and informal economy, including; volunteers, trainees and apprentices and sets out clearly the role of governments and social partners in preventing, addressing and remedying violence and harassment.

That, the petition added included; protection against third party violence and harassment as well as protection against the impacts of domestic violence in the world of work.

It said “the ratification and effective implementation of C190 and R206 would be essential to address the scourge of violence and harassment in the world of work and particularly the prevalence of gender-based violence”.

The petition stated “research conducted by ActionAid Ghana in 2018 with 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”.

It continued “49 per cent had been sexually-abused in the world of work and 44 per cent harassed more than once”.

The petition said the YUWM had observed an alarming surge in cases of domestic violence worldwide due to the effects of confinement measures, adding that C190 set out clear steps that governments and social partners should take to mitigate the impacts of domestic violence, including violence perpetuated against individuals who worked at home.

It said whilst “the attention of government is imperative for saving lives and livelihoods under threat due to this unprecedented pandemic, we urged the government through the Regional Minister and the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations to ratify and implement the C190 as part of measures to curb the effects of this pandemic”.

YUWM is an organized group of young women in the urban and peri-urban areas across Ghana aimed at empowering young women with skills, knowledge and attitudes to challenge and address structural barriers that prevented them from enjoying their rights, the petition indicated.

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