International Union of Food (IUF) women’s project on Saturday commemorated international Women’s Day at an event in Blantyre.
National coordinator for IUF women’s project, Dorothea Makhasu, said their aim is to promote and protect workers’ rights, specifically those of women.
“There are many challenges women face at workplaces such as sexual harassment and gender-based violence,” she said.
Makhasu also observed that most workers do not know their rights, a scenario that poses a great challenge, especially to women.
“We are looking into these areas to see how we can handle the challenges so that we promote our rights and we make our lives bearable,” Makhusu said.
In her remarks, women’s coordinator for IUF Regina Redson said there are also many challenges women face in the local tobacco industry.
She said most female workers work more than 12 hours in a day and that their wages are too low.
“Employers do not allow women to go on maternity leave and tenants’ children are forced to work which is not only a form of child labour but also a violation of their right to education,” Redson said.
IUF is a global union which has regional chapters worldwide. In Africa it is operating in 16 countries and in Malawi it has affiliates in the sugar, tea, tobacco, domestic work and hospitality industries.