Rwanda’s Ministry of Labour recently announced their plan to introduce the Maternity Insurance scheme by the end of February, 2011. Still in its draft stages, it is mostly designed to benefit women working in the Private Sector.
This comes after several complaints from women, especially in Private Sector, that they are mistreated by their employers and are not given maternity leave when pregnant or in need of breastfeeding.
Therefore, Maternity Insurance will help to protect pregnant women, breast feeding women and other employees from working in unfavourable environments or being unfairly dismissed from their jobs.
This is what women say about the duly awaited Maternity Insurance:
Marie Claire Munezero, Hair dresser at Sisters Saloon Remera.
“What private business owners expect differs from that of someone in the public service because they work for different institutions. A private business owner can’t risk paying two salaries for one position since they aim at making profits. Pregnant women can be given maternity leave but with no paycheck in a private business because someone else is being paid to do their job.”
Zulfat Mukarubega, Woman Entrepreneur of 2010 and Founder of Rwanda Tourism University College (RTUC)
“Most women leave their children at home after their maternity leave elapses under the care of nannies. Yet, the first six months are the most important period for mother and child bonding. Therefore, leaving a six to 15week-old baby at home to go and work hinders the proper growth of the baby. I hope the scheme will solve such problems.”
Annette Mutesi Hair Dresser at Sisters Saloon Remera
“Employers who have been undermining the abilities of women will be dealt with thanks to the scheme. Some assume that pregnant women are less productive hence they lay them off without compensation.”