Forum Reviews Policy for Women's Wage Labour

Mar 25 , 2023


Women employed in the textile, garment, floriculture and hospitality industry in Addis Abeba city are facing challenges according to a study done by Forum For Social Sciences (FSS) that hosted a discussion to influence a policy regarding women's wage labour. Women employed in the cafes and restaurants in the capital average wages of 900 Br out of total incomes of around 3,200 Br, translating to a little over a quarter of their income coming from salaries while the rest is tips. The study which sampled over 270 cafes and restaurants revealed that a general decline in earnings is observed as the women increase in weight and age. Employees from local cafes were part of the discussions and expressed that the short skirts the managers have them wear become unbearably cold during the winter. The sector is marked by high inter-mobility partly arising from the informal employment mechanisms employed by these establishments. Only a third of the surveyed women reported having gained employment through a signed labour contract. According to the study, universal disregard for labour unions was observed across all sectors while experiences of women in the hospitality sector within the capital stick out. Dawi Ibrahim, a lifelong labour rights activist was one of the attendees to the successive events hosted by the nearly 25-year-old Forum. He was the founding president of the Confederation of the Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU) and was exiled following a tense political confrontation. According to Dawi, a great tide of pain will sweep through communities if foundations for labour rights are not instilled now, as pursuing cheap labour continues to grow.


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