The Tea Association of Malawi (TAML) Gender Equality, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policy was launched on the 9th of December. The launch was preceded by a 2 km march on Thyolo Road (Malawi) by approximately 300 stakeholders from the tea sector.
Participants included workers, senior management, Malawi Tea 2020 signatories, and the District Commissioners’ Offices of Thyolo and Mulanje as well as the Officer in Charge of Thyolo Boma Police. The District Commissioner of Thyolo was the Guest of honour, who pledged support to TAML on the implementation of the policy. The march was in solidarity of the UN Women campaign 16 days of activism against gender based violence.
The messaging of gender was included in the songs that the workers were singing. This song includes the message ‘we should all walk together in this gender drive’.
The Gender policy
The policy was drafted by TAML’s Industrial Relations Committee (IRC) and launched under the theme of Promoting Equal Opportunities for Women and Men. In his address, the chairperson of the IRC, Chris Payne, highlighted that the launching of the first ever gender policy that provides practical guidelines on how to address and prevent gender inequality, harassment and discrimination, demonstrates TAML’s commitment to promoting equality. The policy was formally unveiled by the Vice Chairman of the TAML board, Mr. Atu Kalinga.
IDH, the Sustainable Trade initiative in partnership with World University Service of Canada (WUSC) has supported the process of developing the policy, and awareness campaigns within the sector and the launch.