Maternity Leave Extended for Assam Workers
Assam is a region in India where the tea for eteaket’s Breakfast Blend comes from. Assam tea is indeed a prized variety and widely enjoyed around the world. As a region, however, Assam struggles with widespread poverty and being able to provide people with basic healthcare. Recent positive developments in the Assam government has resulted in extended maternity leave for female workers from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
Women workers in Assam
Woman workers in Assam suffer from the highest rates of anemia and maternal mortality with 363 maternal deaths per 10,000 live births. About 50% of pregnant woman aged between 15 and 49 are anemic in India. Anemia is a condition that develops when you lack enough red blood cells in your body. Unfortunately many tea gardens can suffer from poor healthcare and access to nutritional food. This combination puts many woman and their babies at risk. Simran Sachdev wrote, “inadequate maternal healthcare is literally killing women and children in tea plantations across the state” (A matter of life and death: surviving childcare on Assam’s tea plantations).
The extension of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 is a strong step in the right direction for the woman of Assam. The Ethical Tea Partnership (in partnership with UNICEF) have made a commitment to help improve all areas of life in Assam. Starbucks, Unilever and Tesco have all signed the commitment which will help to raise awareness and make sure that extended maternity leave is a stepping stone and that better availability of healthcare is the next stone that will be crossed.
Why it is important to sip ethically
eteaket is a proud member of The Ethical Tea Partnership. For workers on tea plantations, tea is more than a lifestyle choice; it is their life. They are often born in the tea garden, are brought up there, go to school there and then work there having mastered a skill. They deserve to have a high standard of life both at work and at home. Next time you buy or drink tea we invite you to look for the Ethical Tea Partnership stamp and make sure you are drinking tea that helps support the workers who made it possible for you to curl up with a cuppa.