Gender Minister Janat Mukwaya (3rd R), Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana (2nd R) and other members on the Ugandan team with the Director General of ILO, Guy Ryder at the ongoing Labour Conference in Geneva

The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Janat Mukwaya has called on labour actors at the international scene to ensure that more efforts are put into protecting women against violence and harassment at work.

Mukwaya observed that women are subjected to violence and harassment at work than men but unfortunately, although violence against women is widely acknowledged, few people raise a voice against the vice.

“For others, the violence and harassment is seen as conservative stereotypes, but it is the reality that has to be tolerated as part of life. I am therefore, pleased that the International Labour Organisation is working on an international labour standard on ending violence and harassment at work,” she noted.

The Minister was speaking at the 107th Session of the International Labour Conference that’s underway in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference runs from 28 May –8 June 2018.

Mukwaya is leading the Government of Uganda delegation which also includes Mr. Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Mr. Peter Werikhe, Secretary General National Organisation of Trade Unions and Mr. Douglas Opio, the Executive Director of the Federation of Uganda Employers.

The International Labour Conference is the ILO’s highest decision-making body.

It meets annually, bringing together the tripartite delegations from the Organization’s 187 member States and a number of observers from other international actors to consider a series of topics related to the world of work, placed on its agenda by the Governing Body of the ILO.

.

Among the committees is the Standard Setting Committee on violence and harassment in the world of work, where Uganda and
She appealed that the standard setting should be followed by domestication in the various countries and establishment of well-resourced and functioning institutions against violence at work.

“Furthermore we must enable women to take their destiny into their hands through education, employment creation and enterprise development.”

“Similarly, imbalances in asset ownership especially land should also addressed. This is because where males own and control land, access to finance will also be skewed in favour of men yet capital is crucial for improvement of livelihoods of women through enterprise development,” the Minister noted.

She cited that of the 192 million unemployed people in the world, 114 million of them are in developing countries.

“Gender gaps are also a matter of concern. A woman is associated globally with 30 per cent less chance of being in the labour force and often being at the bottom of the economic ladder. Women continue to be paid approximately 20 per cent less than men per month across the world, even when they are engaged in the same or work of equal value,” she said.

She added that Uganda welcomes the ILO-initiated women at work centenary initiative which aims to better understand and deliver decent work for women in the 21st Century.