The Africa regional women’s workshop on mapping informal women workers in transport concluded on Friday last week after three highly successful days of discussion, training, experience-sharing, and practical mapping activities. Much of the work was based on the mapping exercise in one of Kampala’s main bus terminals, where the workshop participants were able to meet and interview a wide range of informal women workers. From the information gathered from the workers, they were able to construct a detailed picture of the range of women’s transport occupations to be found, their earnings, the key issues they faced at work, their organisations, ‘bargaining counterparts’, and employment relationships. They then went on to draw physical maps of the bus terminal, showing where the workers are, and how the workplace is organised.
These information-gathering activities revealed the wide range of women’s jobs in a typical bus terminal – drivers, conductors, “call girls” (ticket sales), security guards, food vendors, public telephone operators, hawkers, cleaners, ticket inspectors, booking clerks and others. They estimated that out of a total workforce of around 500, 100-150 of the workers are women.
This practical experience enabled the three teams to work through potential organising strategies, and detailed 12-month plans for information gathering in their respective countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda). Overall, the workshop certainly fulfilled the objective of making the informal women transport workers visible!
The event received a lot of media attention, including a news broadcast aired on Ugandan television. The news clip can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/nzqnSVwBIvA
11/05/2014 at 10:20 am
Kudos to the ladies who represented Kenya on the mapping workshop. As a leader in Public Transport Operators Union in Kenya, we shall assist the women in mapping and ensure they become visible in our union.