Better Work


When 31-year-old Mamontseng Habahaba was pregnant with her third child, the quality control inspector at one of Lesotho’s 39 garment factories didn’t bother telling her supervisor. She figured she would just work until it was time to give birth, unaware of her rights as a pregnant factory worker. Into her second and third trimester, she struggled to stay on her feet for her 9-hour daytime shift, and though her pregnancy eventually became obvious, she was not provided a chair to sit on, nor 

did she dare to ask for one. “This is something that cannot be done in this factory,” Habahaba said. “If your work requires you to work standing, you have to work standing, even when you are pregnant. Better Work Lesotho is working at the factory level to ensure that the rights of expectant mothers like Habahaba are better protected at work, and improvements are gradually happening in this important area. The project is training peer educators and helping make factory managers and supervisors aware of the needs of pregnant workers. Supervisory skills training includes maternity health needs and how pregnant workers should be accommodated.