In partnership with The HIVOS Foundation, in line of the project entitled State Accountability for Corporate Violations, Haguruka organized its first quarterly meeting on 31st October 2017 at Highland suites hotel in Kigali. The Meeting was attended by different delegates from different institutions, such as Horticulture companies, Legal aid providers, CSOs, Government labor inspectors and Rwanda Worker’s Trade Union Confederation (CESTRAR).
The meeting was officiated by Haguruka’s National Executive Secretary Ms. Umurerwa Ninette, who started off by welcoming and appreciating the participants for partaking in this meeting and introduced the theme of this meeting as “Tracking Progress against elimination issues faced by women at their respective workplaces”. The executive secretary appreciated that the government of Rwanda has established and put in place different initiatives and mechanisms to protect women’s right. However, there are still many cases related to the violation of those rights especially at workplaces whereby national labor laws and other related laws that are women friendly are neither respected nor implemented.
The round table discussion aimed to track the progress in the implementation of these laws so far, the participants were given ample time to address all these issues that women are still facing at their places of work that lead to discrimination. The participants agreed that women play a vital role in economic development of the country and their contribution is nothing short of their male counterparts. There are still several issues and problems that women face today related to unequal treatment in their workplace and are considered as inferior to their male co-workers due to the social culture and gender bias as root causes. It was stated that many challenges are based on sexual harassment, sexual corruption, security at work, family’s responsibilities, unequal pay, deficient of maternity leave and other kind of discrimination.
Group discussion between participants
Participants said that policies and legal mechanisms alone cannot help in curbing the problems faced by women at the work place, first of all the overall attitude and acceptance level of the people needs to change, because some of those challenges are associated with lack of knowledge of laws, or ignorance of proper application, interpretation and respect of what said by laws. The issues and problems that women face in their workplaces should be put to an end if employees and employers respect the rights of each other. As recommendation, raising awareness in legal matters should be taken into consideration by all levels, sectors and institutions for employees and employers.