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February 24, 2018

Call to protect rights of agrarian women


February 24, 2018

LAHORE: Men will have to come forward for the recognition of the work of agrarian women. Around 2.5 crore women do not have identity cards. They do not get the right to take small loans and sometimes their husbands take their wages and do not give them enough credit for their tiring job.

These views were discussed at second focus group discussion on participatory policy analysis (PPA)- policy research in the area of socio-economic rights of women working in agriculture in Punjab, at Aurat Foundation.

Justice ® Nasira Javed Iqbal said, “Women should make their independent union. This the duty of the local governments to educate women at grassroots level. There should be more female members of local governments. Radio and television are the best media to give awareness to women. Every woman knows about family planning and they are willing to do but this is the responsibility of the state to provide the resources and guidance. In near future, there will be no space to live, everyone is making shopping malls and residential colonies on agricultural land. We cannot protect agricultural land and we are talking about preserving the rights of agrarian women. There is a need for serious legislation and implementation to make our country great.”

Mumtaz Mughal said, “To maintain the GSP Plus status we have to maintain 27 conventions. Women in agriculture have registered land but they do not have any possession- loans are sanctioned on their name but they do not receive any loan amount. Women working in agriculture are less educated as compared to their male counterparts. Women in agriculture are not involved in decision making. They do not have access to health facilities, social protection, safety nets and micro-credit. There is no daycare centre for the infants.

The findings of the first discussion were recognition of socio-economic rights of agrarian women in labour policy, establishment of agrarian women network/ federation, organisation informal structure and strong protection mechanism of health and women economic empowerment. We do not encourage alternative dispute resolution mechanism because women are already so oppressed in an agrarian sector that they need an independent union and legislation to speak for them.”

Nasim Iqbal said, “This is an election year, women have a very strong and beneficial time to put their demands on the table. You should make a proposal and engage all the political parties and ask them to add this to their manifesto, so they can work for the betterment of agrarian women”.

Cleanliness: On the invitation of Khatib Jamia Masjid Dar-ul-Islam Hafiz Fida-ur-Rehman, Albayrak Waste Management Company Friday arranged an awareness drive in Bagh-i-Jinnah. Albayrak officials said the drive was aimed to seek public cooperation for ensuring waste management and to sensitise the worshippers about cleanliness.

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