The Public Utility Workers Union, PUWU, has organized a 3-day training workshop for selected executives on Gender Based Violence at the workplace.
General Secretary of PUWU, Mr. Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi, in addressing the media at the PUWU Hospitality and Conference Centre at Kasoa in the Central Region, commended government’s efforts towards eliminating gender based violence and harassment at the workplace; but said a lot more needed to be done.
He said even though government is doing well to ensure that both men and women have a safe environment to work, a lot needs to be done.
Mr. Adumatta Nyantakyi urged government to fast track the ratification of the International Labour Organizations (ILO) Convention 190 to make it part of Ghana’s laws.
“So far, the Ghana government has shown some keen interest in gender-based violence and harassment. Although it is yet to ratify the convention, we believe that the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations has been engaged by the Trade Union Congress and there are discussions to see how this could be pushed forward. Apart from this convention, you find out that there are some domestic laws which the government has put in place to ensure that there is some level of protection especially for the women and also against child abuse and harassment at the work place”, he said.
According to the General Secretary, implementation of the Convention at the workplace will provide a safer working environment for all, especially women to fully participate in all activities at the workplace.
Mr. Adumatta Nyantakyi said all forms of harassment and violence at the workplace cannot be allowed to persist.
He further urged government to put in place mechanisms to ratify the new convention by the ILO which is aimed at ending violence and harassment in the world of work.
“We are also in link with the Trade Union Congress and other similar organizations urging the Ghana government to put in place mechanisms to ratify this convention. Although the convention has been adopted by the ILO, Ghana is yet to ratify it, and normally, it is after the ratification that it becomes part of our domestic laws.
“There is still more to be done by the government and we are urging government to take keen interest and expedite actions to ratify this ILO Convention 190”, Mr. Adumatta Nyantakyi said.
Purpose of the training
The training was organized to equip members with an understanding of gender and skills on how to integrate the provisions of the ILO Convention 190, as a mechanism for mitigating the incidents of violence and harassment at the workplace and in the community.
Mr. Adumatta Nyantakyi said “As we are working to get government to ratify this new convention, we need to first get our members to understand the whole convention and the issues involved in sexual harassment and violence at the workplace”.
He added that PUWU will work with member institutions to put in place measures to check violence and sexual harassment at the workplace.
He also lauded the efforts of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) for setting up a unit in its main office to look into complaints of violence and harassment at the workplace.
“We also intend engaging the organizations we operate within. A company like ECG is doing a lot on this gender issue. They have setup a whole gender unit at the head office and they are also pushing this agenda”, Mr. Adumatta Nyantakyi added.
The programme was financed by Industrial Global Union, an International Trade Union Organization.