Women comprise half of the productive human resource in the Ethiopian economy. Nowadays, women in Ethiopia are engaged in various activities ranging from lower income works to higher administrative positions. But their working condition is not that much decent compared to their male counterparts. Female workers have been vulnerable to different work-related risks.
The confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU) has conducted a research on the situation of working women in the Ethiopian flower growers, textile and leather-hide processing companies. The study involving 400 women and 100 men workers and a series of focus group discussion with employees, managers, workplace union leaders and employers was conducted from March to November 2016. According to the study women work long hours without having sufficient leave and relatively with lower wages.
And the legal rights are seen not practical in some instances. The absence of a policy on health and safety at work exposes them to health hazards and many of them lack basic facilities like clean water. The study also confirmed that strong occupational segregation exists by sex. Some of the female workers also face gender-based harassment.
Speaking at a forum on women working condition held recently, Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Union (CETU) President Kassahun Follo said the main reason for the deterioration of women working condition in Ethiopia is due to inability to implement the laws.
"Despite the existence of rules, guidelines and proclamations, there is still limitations in their implementation. To address this gap, the government and other stakeholders are expected to exert concerted efforts," he said, adding "CETU is working with pertinent stakeholders including European Union to promote decent work for all workers. It as well works towards women empowerment schemes in trade union movements".