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Sunday October 24, 2021

Plight of cotton picker women highlighted

October 15, 2021

LAHORE : Speakers at a seminar on International Day of Rural Women have highlighted the plight of cotton picker women.

Starting from crack of dawn and ending late in the evening, cotton picking is a backbreaking job, said the participants in a consultation on “Framing Issues of Cotton Pickers” organised by Women in Struggle for Empowerment (WISE) here on Thursday.

Women from twelve districts participated in the consultation and shared problems of rural women they are facing in society.

Kainat Malik, a woman farmer, shared that rural women’s hands got injured during cotton picking. The cotton pickers don’t have protective goggles, dresses, shoes and etc. They are suffering from eye diseases when they pick poisoned cotton sprinkled by farmers in the form of pesticides. Women are harassed, she added. Girls don’t go to schools during this season and pick cotton. These girls buy dowry with their wages. To defeat poverty, they pick cotton, now the cotton crop has been replaced by sugarcane, she said.

On the occasion, Humair Jalil, a farmer woman said, women are given low wages. If they are suffering from health issues, they are not allowed to take rest in male dominated society. The women pick cotton in blazing heat with bare hands and feet, the women pluck cotton from thorny buds and get injured, she said.

PML-N MPA Kanwal Liaqat said women are brave and well aware of their rights. They are contributing to prosperity of their families and country as well, she said and demanded justice if women are denied share of inheritance. She encouraged women to take part in politics so that they could fight for their rights. We would raise your voices in the Punjab Assembly, she said. PTI MPA Ayesha Iqbal said in sixty days, women would be handed over rights of property of inheritance. She said farmers are being provided Kissan cards.