MDC-T proportional representation legislator Evelyn Masaiti-Muzungu on Monday called for the harmonisation of labour laws with the new Constitution to ensure discriminative maternity leave laws are removed.
Masaiti said this during a meeting of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs with secretary in the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry Virginia Mabhiza which discussed progress in harmonisation of laws with the Constitution.
She said women were discriminated by labour laws which stipulated that women who got pregnant more than three times were not entitled to full salaries during their maternity leave.
“There is need for harmonisation of labour laws and marriage laws with the new Constitution because we have Acts which discriminate against women when they fall pregnant every year and more than three times because they are made to go on maternity leave without full salaries,” said Masaiti. “The discrimination is that while salaries for women are slashed their male counterparts who impregnate their wives three times get their full salaries at work.”
Mabhiza said there was work to ensure issues of maternity leave were clearly stipulated in the country’s laws.
“There is work in progress and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development has initiated harmonisation of marriage laws. We are also engaged in consultations to ensure there is alignment of laws to do with children,” she said.
Mabhiza also also told the committee that there was need for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to amend the Education Act so that it included other indigenous languages as stipulated by the Constitution.
The languages officially recognised by the new charter include Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana and Venda.