Mali ratifies C183
We are pleased to announce that on 5 June 2008 Mali ratified the ILO Convention on Maternity
Protection, No 183, 2000. It is the 14th state, and the first in Africa, to have done so.
Other countries that have ratified are: Albania (24.07.04), Austria (30.04.04), Belarus (10.02.04),
Belize (09.11.05), Bulgaria (06.12.01), Cuba (01.06.04), Cyprus (12.01.05), Hungary (04.11.03),
Italy (07.02.01), Lithuania (23.09.03), Moldova (28.08.06), Romania (23.10.02), Slovakia (12.12.00).
All of these countries provide paid maternity leave for at least 14 weeks. There are two other ILO
Conventions on maternity protection: C3 (1919) and C103 (1952), but the most recent one, adopted in
2000, is the strongest.
It requires that states provide women workers, including those working in atypical forms of work, 14
weeks of paid leave (at 2/3 of salary at least). It asks that the health of these workers be protected
at the workplace during pregnancy and lactation and that they receive health benefits (free care and medication). It also stipulates that female workers cannot be discriminated against because of their
age or reproductive capacity and that workers on maternity leave be entitled to the same or equivalent
job when they return to work after their leave.
Lastly the Convention makes paid breastfeeding breaks a woman´s right: a breastfeeding worker can
take one or more breaks or reduce the length of her work day, in order to breastfeed. ILO recommendation
191 (2000) suggests that countries adopt legislation providing 18 weeks of paid maternity leave (at 100% of salary) and breastfeeding facilities in the workplace. Unfortunately, maternity protection is not a very popular measure because it is seen as costly both to employers and
to the authorities. This explains the rather low number of ratifications.
xamine your country´s maternity protection law, compare it to C183 and push for ratification
if this is feasible.