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Durham University

Durham Law: Policy Engagement

DWR-Africa in Lesotho

In Lesotho, DWR-Africa has a particular interest in work-life and gender dynamics and how these relate to informality in - or associated with - the garment sector.

Fieldwork is being conducted among workers and other stakeholders in the sector and a dialogue is being conducted with stakeholders at the national level.

Our research in Lesotho asks: Are gender dynamics changing in the garment sector, at work and at home? Are jobs in the sector being ‘informalised’ through e.g. casual work or outsourcing? Are some workers channelled into informal jobs due to working arrangements in the garment sector? What do workers consider the most important issues in their working lives (e.g. equal pay for equal work, opportunity for promotion, harassment/discrimination, etc.).

National-Level Meeting on Decent Work Regulation in Lesotho, 6-7 December 2018

On 6th and 7th December 2018, DWR-Africa hosted a National-Level Meeting on Decent Work Regulation in Lesotho.

The stakeholder meeting was organised by our Lesotho project team led by Professor Debbie Collier of the Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town. It was a collaboration with the National University of Lesotho, led by Dr Regina Kulehile of the Faculty of Law.

The event brought together trade union partners in Lesotho, including UNITE, IDUL, NACTWU, and LENTSOE LA SECHABA, among others. Themes under discussion included effective engagement with labour regulation frameworks, gender and work/life issues, informality, unacceptable work, and the changing/evolving role of trade unions.

The Meeting identified a particular need for learning and skills development that focuses on making legal rights effective in practice, promoting decent work, and protecting workers from unacceptable forms of work.

The event builds on an ongoing DWR-Africa collaboration with researchers and local stakeholders in Southern Africa aimed at improving labour regulation with a focus on the garment sector.

Welcoming new partners in Lesotho

During 2018, DWR-Africa has been welcoming new partners in Lesotho.

Trade unions

On 28 September, our project team members Ms Ithabeleng Duma (Lesotho Research Lead, Maseru) and Professor Debbie Collier (University of Cape Town) organised the DWR-Africa Lesotho Trade Unions Workshop in Maseru.

The event brought together representatives of the project’s key local union partners, from UNITE, IDUL, NACTWU, and LENTSOE LA SECHABA. The workshop discussed the objectives of the DWR-Africa project and how they relate to the priorities and aims of trade unions and workers in Lesotho. The local stakeholders shared their perspectives on recent developments in the garment industry. The participants also considered potential future activities that could combine the needs and priorities of the academic community and stakeholders.

The workshop established common ground towards improved collaboration between research and union partners in Lesotho.

National University of Lesotho

In October 2018, DWR-Africa established a new partnership with the National University of Lesotho in Roma, Lesotho.

This collaboration is led by Dr Regina Kulehile, Head of the Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law. Dr Kulehile’s research interests include the regulation of the informal economy and barriers to economic development in Lesotho, including the regulatory framework for electronic commerce.

The collaboration involves working together with DWR-Africa's stakeholder partners in Lesotho to build capacity to improve working conditions, with an initial focus on the garment sector.

Work-life, Gender and Informality in Lesotho: A Project Note

The Project on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (DWR-Africa) responds to UN Sustainable Development Goal 8: to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.

The Project has established a Regional Network of researchers and policy-makers who have an interest in effective labour regulation. We also conduct cutting-edge research into the impact of labour laws in Southern Africa.

For further information on Decent Work Regulation in Africa Project in Lesotho, click here to download our project note.