Speakers want labour rights for 5 million women workers in Sindh

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The Sindh government should fulfil their electoral promise and recognise more than five million home-based women workers of Sindh and give them their due rights as per the constitution and labour laws, demanded speakers of All Sindh Home-Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) at a home-based workers convention.

The convention was held at Sindh Museum Auditorium on the occasion of South Asian Home-Based Workers Day presided over by HBWWF Central Secretary General Zehra Khan. Delegations of home-based workers from different parts of Sindh and representatives of labour unions, social institutes and labour-related government departments attended the moot.

Zehra Khan said in Pakistan the economy had been shifting from the formal to non-formal sector rapidly. As a result, more than 90 per cent of labour force was deprived of all those basic rights that should have been given to them as per the constitution of the country, labour laws and different international labour conventions and standards, he added.

Presently, there were more than 12 million home-based women workers in the country and about five million of them were working in different sectors across Sindh like glass bangle making, footwear, embroidery, traditional clothes making, textiles, garments, dairy farming and agriculture.

She said they had been raising voice for long through rallies, demonstrations, sit-ins, seminars and press conferences but still, this most vulnerable and oppressed section of working class was yet to be accepted as worker at the state and government level.

WAPDA union general secretary Latif Nizammani said the inclusion of women workers, especially the home-based women workers, would revive the dying labour movement in Pakistan. To achieve this target, the workers movement of Pakistan should include the demands of the home-based workers in its agenda so that a bigger and stronger labour movement could be launched in the country.

Pakistan Workers Confederation (PWC) Rafiq Baloch said it was a welcome development that Pakistan got access to the European market through GSP+; however, the rights of workers accepted under GSP Plus were being denied.

Home-Based Women Bangle Workers Union General Secretary Jameela A Latif demanded that tripartite labour conferences should be held in all provinces, especially Sindh, and the participation of the representative federation of the home-based women workers should be assured.

National Trade Union Federation Pakistan (NTUF) Deputy General Secretary Nasir Mansoor said the bid to divide the labour movement of Sindh on the linguistic and rural-urban basis was a dark conspiracy. He said this representative moot of labours rejected the idea of division of Sindh.

Other speakers at Sindh Provincial Convection of HBW were Latif Nizamai, WAPDA Union General Secretary Ishaq Mangrio, Senior Journalist Zehra Khan, HBWWF General Secretary, central leaders of HBWW Shakeela Khan, Saira Feriz, Sajida Kausar, Leader of Home Based Women Bangle Workers Union Jameela A Latif, Shakeela Khan, Munira Hirwani from HNP, Ejaz Shah, Joint Labour Director, Samad Soomro, Assistant Director Labour, and Nasir Mansoor, Deputy General Secretary.

 

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