Group calls on government to review ILO Convention 190

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi
President Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo

The Greater Accra Chapter of the Young Urban Women’s Movement, an advocacy group under ActionAid Ghana, an NGO, wants the government of Ghana to take steps to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190 on violence and harassment in the world of work.

The group at a forum said Convention 190 and recommendation 206 are the first international legal standards that recognise the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment.


Speaking at the forum on October 21, 2021, the Public Relations Officer of the Young Urban Women Movement- Greater Accra Chapter, Bridget Dedaa Darfour, said, “We have observed an alarming surge in cases of domestic violence worldwide because of confinement measures resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic.”

She added that “Whilst the attention of Government of Ghana is imperative for saving lives and livelihoods under threat due to this unprecedented pandemic, we urge the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations as a matter of urgency to ratify and implement the C190 as part of measures to curb the effects of this pandemic.”

She was of the view that whilst the attention of governments is focused on saving lives and livelihoods under threat because of COVID-19 pandemic, the President should also see to the ratification and implementation of C190 as part of response measures to curb the increasing negative effects of the pandemic.

Young Urban Women Movement

In pursuit of ActionAid Ghana’s Mission Priority to address the root causes of violence against women and girls, reduce unpaid care work and promote decent work, ActionAid partnered with 10 likeminded institutions and over 7,000 young women across 13 cities in Ghana, Kenya, India and South Africa through its Young Urban Women: Life Choices and Livelihoods Programme.

The programme provides a platform for young women in urban areas to share knowledge, experiences and take action to claim their rights.

Currently in its third phase of implementation, the project aims at addressing the structural barriers that prevent marginalized and excluded young women in urban areas from fully enjoying economic security and bodily integrity.

It also supports young women to lead local and national advocacy in their countries, and join global efforts to advance their rights.

The programme focuses on young women’s rights to decent work and sexual reproductive health as well as unpaid care work.

Through empowerment, campaigning and solidarity, they seek to increase women’s control and autonomy over their life choices, and to challenge gender norms that perpetuate inequality.

The group provides solidarity for young women in urban areas and builds their confidence to find and share their voices regionally, nationally and internationally.

They also work with young women to identify strategies or solutions for more immediate redress of their problems.

ILO conventions 190 and 183

The movement has organised campaigns to advance women’s sexual and reproductive health rights, access to decent work, achievement of economic justice, and to demand gender responsive public services, and ratification of ILO conventions 190 and 183.

The movement’s advocacy has also resulted in tangible improvements in the lives of young women and girls living in urban settings, including the provision of potable water and the creation of adolescent-friendly health corners.

In line with its objectives to fight against violence against women and girls at the workplace, the Movement has launched a strong campaign for the ratification of the International Labour Orgnanisation’s Convention (190).

The ILO C190 is a comprehensive international regulation which addresses the full range of issues relating to Gender Based Violence in the world of work.

It recognizes that violence and harassment in the world of work can constitute human rights violation as well as a threat to equal opportunities.

The aim of the Convention is to promote a general environment of zero tolerance to violence and harassment and to facilitate the prevention of such behaviours and practices.