Kenya: Organising Women, Ensuring Benefits: Workshops by IUF Sugar and KUSPAW

The IUF Global Sugar implemented a series of workshops in four different sugar estates in the Western and Nyanza provinces with women members of the Kenya Union of Sugar Plantation Agricultural Workers (KUSPAW).

The objective of the workshops was to discuss relevant issues for women workers in Kenya’s sugar sub-sector, as a basis for recommendations for a union program addressing the concerns of their women members. Among the most relevant recommendations made to the KUSPAW were:

  • Education and sensitization on Sexual Harassment, an issue that it’s gaining relevance among women sugar workers.
  • Education and training on occupational safety health (OSH) stressing a Gender perspective.
  • Integrating breastfeeding and related maternity protection clauses in collective bargaining agreement.
  • Supporting the reduction of psychological stress among women workers, for instance through provision of child care facilities.

Among other topics discussed at the workshops were the role of the IUF Global Sugar and Palm Oil Program, through combined initiatives with KUSPAW in the 2015-2017 period.

Participants in the Nzoia Workshop

Participants in the Nzoia Workshop

The  workshops were held from 12-14 May in SONY Sugar, Chemelil Sugar and Mumias Sugar, followed by a special activity in Nzoia Sugar Company on May 15. In the first three workshops, a selected group of 5 to 8 women workers and a union branch leader attended, while in Nzoia participants were nineteen women union members, three women union officials and two branch leaders for a total of twenty four participants. (With information provided by Christine Mangara, Nzoia union branch.)

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