Friday April 19, 2024

Call to register union of home-based workers

By Our Correspondent
March 03, 2024
DG Labour Syeda Kulsoom Hai announcing the Apwa Home Based workers Union on ocassion of International Womens Day 2024. — Facebook/Apwagirlchildcampaign screenshot
DG Labour Syeda Kulsoom Hai announcing the Apwa Home Based workers Union on ocassion of International Women's Day 2024. — Facebook/Apwagirlchildcampaign screenshot

LAHORE : On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2024, All Pakistan Women Association advocates for registration of Home-Based Workers Union and emphasises their right to social security.

A collaborative endeavour led by the All Pakistan Women Association (APWA) in conjunction with the Labor Department, Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF), UN Women, and various partner organisations, seeks to bring about a transformative change in women’s empowerment within the workforce on this International Women’s Day, held at APWA Headquarters on Saturday, as highlighted by Syeda Kulsoom Hai, the Director-General of Labour.

Within the framework of this strategic partnership, APWA and PWF are addressing the diverse challenges faced by women workers. One noteworthy achievement of this collaboration is the presentation of documents for home-based workers by the APWA Home-Based Workers Members Union, led by President Rabia Dilshad.

This underscores the importance of recognising the right to freedom of association for women. Syeda Kulsoom Hai expressed full support for registering the union and introduced a groundbreaking initiative: the establishment of a dedicated job portal for home-based workers, offering comprehensive training programs and ensuring social security. As part of this initiative, a helpline is also in development to address workplace issues and establish a robust support system for women navigating professional challenges.

She emphasised that these efforts reflect a commitment to fostering inclusive workplaces, breaking down barriers for women in leadership roles, and ensuring equal opportunities.

Ms Samia Zahid, Chairperson of APWA, echoed the call for women’s rights and urged stakeholders to collectively contribute to integrating informal women workers into the economic circle.

Ch Naseem, President of PWF, passionately called for the swift recognition of women’s right to freedom of association and emphasized the governance of decent living wages under the Labor Department.

UN Women representative Shahzad Ahmed shared insights into UN Women’s support for policy-making and law to empower home-based workers, reaffirming the commitment to advocating for the rights and well-being of women in this sector.

Women Protection Officer Rabia Usman discussed measures taken to safeguard women at the workplace and combat gender-based violence.

SSP Dr Anush Masood, honoured with the Women in Leadership Award, encouraged girls to pursue education and highlighted the police department’s commitment to supporting gender equality.

Prominent women TU Leader, Dur-e-Shawar, demanded the government ratify Convention C 177 and C 190 to combat workplace harassment, stressing the importance of equal wages and safer spaces for work.

Salman Abid, Policy Analyst, and CEO of Ideas Pakistan, emphasised the complexity of achieving gender equality, stressing the need for collaborations and the crucial role of media in raising awareness.

Shahnawaz Khan from SPO echoed the need for strengthened safety mechanisms for gender equality. Raana Malik, Chairperson of the Gender Studies department, underscored the importance of concrete steps and data for gender mainstreaming policies.

Danish representing Carvan Kraft, Ume Laila from Homenet, Hina from Bedarie, and Minahil from LUMS underscored the significance of entrepreneurs’ skills development and highlighted the broader online opportunities available for women.

They emphasised the importance of building linkages in this context. Home-based workers exhibit their talent in the exhibition arranged by APWA.

Dr Andleeb Khanam, General Secretary of APWA, concluded that this collaborative effort signifies a significant stride towards establishing a fair, inclusive, and empowering work environment for women in Pakistan.