Accra, 26 June 2014 – The International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the Ghana Institute of Journalism with the support of UNIC Accra, has launched its Maternity Protection project in Accra. The launch was followed immediately with media training on maternity protection to equip journalists with tools to report on the issue.
As an integral part of the “Decent work for all” policy agenda of the ILO in partnership with the Government of Ghana, the maternity protection project aims to provide economic security of the pregnant woman and to preserve the health of the mother and the unborn child.
An important feature of the ILO agenda is maternity leave. “Women want to go on their maternity leave as and when they are practically due to give birth. They want to spend all the time they possibly can of their leave at home.” Catherine Adu-Boadi of the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection in Ghana, said on behalf or her minister Hon. Nana Oye Lithur.
Research suggests strong correlation between the welfare of children and maternity leave when looking at factors such as cognitive ability, growth and survival rate. ILO calls for the right to maternity leave for all women of all sectors, formal and informal sectors alike, as stated in the Maternity Protection Convention of 1986.
UNIC Accra NIO, Cynthia Prah presented the principles and guidelines for journalists when reporting on maternity protection, and highlighted the importance of maintaining good ethics when interviewing women subjects especially on issues relating to maternity protection. She asked journalists to scale up their duties in contributing to the welfare and protection of pregnant women, and mentioned examples of what is good and bad journalistic ethics.
The launch was also attended by Akua Ofor-Asamadu of ILO, Christiana Gbedemah of UNICEF, Roland Modey of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Dave Agbenu of the Ghana Journalists Association and Charles Asante Bempong of the Ghana Employers Association.