Malawi Labour Minister says the country needs concerted efforts to deal with issues affecting labour if the country is to develop.
Minister of Labour, Youth and Manpower Development, Henry Mussa made the call at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe, at the launch of Human Development Report 2015.
Malawi is ranking at 173 out of 188 countries ahead of Ethiopia, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia among others according to 2015 Human Development Report.
“You cannot talk about employment if one is not educated. You cannot talk about employment if one is sick. So issues of education and health for the nation are key. The girl child issues and gender inequality have to be addressed,” said Mussa.
He said work is the means for unleashing human potential, creativity and innovation which are key to development, but could not be addressed in isolation.
“Work enables people to earn a living, gives them a means to participate in social and economic development in society and provides them with security and gives them a sense of dignity. Work is thus inherently and intrinsically linked to human development,” said Mussa.
He said the report highlights impressive progress that has been made since its inception 25 years ago.
The Minister also said it was important for the country to pay attention to voluntary, unpaid care and creative work which also contributes to development.
Mussa said the report is relevant to Malawi and its theme has relevance across all development work in the country.
“As the report suggests’, the approach to tackling the endemic poverty and inequality is through a multi-sectoral approach with carefully planned investments and targeted activities that yield the maximum return on investment and the greatest transformation in the lives of the poorest of the poor,” he explained.
Mussa said so far government has made some remarkable progress, ratified all eight core International Labour Conventions. It has in place Decent Work Country Program, a Draft Child Labour Policy and Draft National Employment and Labour Policy.
He said government will build on these initiatives to promote employment creation, safeguard rights at work, enhance social protection and social dialogue and link these with the Human development concept.
UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mia Seppo said the report call for meaningful and dignified work for all and is an important contribution to the discussion about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She said the report makes a strong case that women are disadvantaged in the world of both paid and unpaid work.
“They not only have fewer opportunities for paid work they also shoulder a greater burden of unpaid work. Addressing gender inequality in both paid and unpaid work is crucial to ensure well-being of workers and advancing human development,” said Seppo.
She said this resonates well with the situation in Malawi, where a large proportion of women are in unpaid work.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :