Friday, 17 February 2012

DRC: League for the Rights of Congolese Women draws up a New Manifesto

Market women and their children in Kinshasa
The League for the Rights of Congolese Women (LFDC) has drawn up a New Manifesto after a broad consultation with street vendors, market vendors and waste recyclers. 12 researchers were appointed and carried out the survey in the different communes of the capital city,  Kinshasa. The questionnaire was developed by the survey team in collaboration with representatives from the informal sector. The survey reviewed issues such as length of employment as a vendor, average daily income, reasons for choosing to become a vendor, relations with local authorities and police; main difficulties encountered during the working day; and how the vendors are organised. The survey also examined how negotiations with the local authorities are carried out and what in the opinion of the vendors, could the local authorities do to improve working conditions.  It also asked for any other suggestions for improvements the vendors might have. 

Following the survey, the researchers held a workshop to share the results.  They compiled an Excel sheet with all the major difficulties and the proposals for improvements. On the basis of this information, the New Manifesto document was drawn up.  It is now ready to be presented to the local authorities and will be used to request a meeting with them to discuss the different issues. It will also be distributed in areas where the researchers were not able to reach.
Workshop to examine the results of the survey
The campaign has been very well received by the vendors and all informal economy workers.  Many said it was the first time that they had been given the opportunity to express themselves freely.  The next stage is to present the New Manifesto to the local authorities.  

Anne Matondo will also  present the LFDC New Manifesto campaign  at the forthcoming StreetNet West Africa and Central Africa New Manifesto campaign workshop,  scheduled to take place on March 9th in Lomé, Togo.

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