The General Secretary, Ghana Mineworkers Union of the Trades Union Congress Ghana (TUCG), Mr Prince William Ankrah, has urged female workers in the sector to position themselves well to take advantage of opportunities in the sector.
He said it was important for women to rise to the top purely on merited basis instead of the usual advocacy for them to be given the chance to rise.
Mr Ankrah said a recent survey by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) made a very interesting revelation that opportunities offered women at the pinnacle of institutions was worthwhile and that women performed better than their male counterparts, which is usually unprecedented.
He was addressing the 6th National Women’s Conference organised by the Union in Accra on the theme: “Maximising our opportunities as women labour unionists.”
“This reflects the theme of this year’s conference and I would like to encourage our female folks to seize this opportunity to the fullest.
It is, therefore, appropriate that delegates do a thorough discussion on the theme, examining what I am tempted to describe as past freely given opportunities and challenge you to seriously consider the need to climb up the leadership ladder within the labour movement and beyond purely on merit,” he said.
Mr Ankrah noted that the Ghana Mineworkers Union had over the years opened up many opportunities to women through deliberate constitutional reforms.
“Special roles and positions were created for women to reach key positions without any hustle. The trend has, to a large extent, made our women folks feel quite comfortable in the union environment,” he said.
He said he was convicted of the fact that these opportunities presented would help propel women to advance and occupy more leadership roles.
“Given the opportunities offered you in our union, in particular, and the excellent performance of women leaders we have had in the various key positions in our nation and beyond, I have no doubt in my mind that you are more capable of advancing at all levels of leadership on your own merit,” he said.
He said women must make an effort to maximise the earlier opportunities by reaching the pinnacle in the organisation purely on merit and not merely through affirmative action.
The Chairperson of the National Women’s Committee, Ghana Mineworkers Union of the Trades Union Congress Ghana (TUCG), Ms Theresa Obosu, said the conference presented an opportunity to discuss the opportunities that existed for women in the world of work and to explore how to maximise them.
She said there was currently a shift from preserving roles for men so it was important to prepare the women to be able to take advantage of those opportunities.
The Head of Legal Unit, Trades Union Congress Ghana (TUCG), Ms Naomi Naadu Lartey, said it was important for the country to ratify the Convention 190 (C190) and a Recommendation 206 (R206) by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
This new convention, which was adopted in June 2019, she said, protected all workers irrespective of their contractual status.
“This convention can be ratified but we can domesticate it to cover places we want to cover because we can use domestication to prevent certain things from coming into law,” she said.