14 May 2010

Rwanda: New Law to Protect Women Employees in the Pipeline

Kigali — The Ministry of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA) is drafting a law on the occupational health and safety of women at their workplace to be merged within the current labor law components.

This was revealed on Wednesday by the ministry' Permanent Secretary, Samuel Mulindwa, during a consultative meeting on the gender situational analysis and employment promotion in Rwanda's labour sectors.

Mulindwa said the law will protect pregnant women and breast feeding women from working in unfavourable environment at their work places or being unfairly relieved of their duties during such times.

"We are still making consultations with various institutions which will be finalized shortly. This law will boost women's health and job security," said Mulindwa.

According to Mulindwa, this law is being reviewed due to several women who complain that they are mistreated by their employees and are not given maternity leave when pregnant or in need to breastfeed their babies.

During the meeting, it was also revealed that some labour sectors have indirect discrimination over women whereby some institutions don't give equal salaries to both women and men and men are considered first when applying for a job regardless of qualifications.

Mulindwa also noted that there is need to campaign to have more women in decision-making and employment sectors.

According to statistics from the Gender Monitoring Office (GMO), only 14.8 percent of the female population has remunerative employment, 15.7 percent are on wages and 57 percent do not earn any income at all.

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