The objective of the project is to improve the capacity of Female Community Health Workers (FCHWs) trade union leadership to understand trade unions and their rights, to campaign for the interest of FCHWs and help these workers get recognition as public employees.
FCHWs are a fully female workforce and the narrative of the natural role of women to care for their families and therefore for their communities is used as an argument to justify the lack of remuneration towards this activity. In practice, this translates into an undervaluation of the work of women and a gender pay gap compared to male workers with similar qualifications and responsibilities.
The project will challenge this narrative and, in practice, campaign for FCHWs to be remunerated as permanent employees of the state thus promoting gender equality and potentially narrowing pay inequity. One of the effects of the lack of pension is that FCHWs are worried to leave their occupation. Thus, the average age of FCHWs is high.
Through the demands of the project, we will make the turn around smoother that will allow for more youth to come into the work force at better working conditions. The promotion of quality public services through better conditions of work for FCHWs will ensure access to healthcare for vulnerable groups, such as patients with chronic illnesses as well as poor women, children and elderly.
The major beneficiary of the project is the Female Community based Health Workers. It will address the fundamental form of gendered exploitation by building joint actions and campaigns among the existing unions of community-based health workers in Nepal to bring about structural changes in their employment and working conditions.