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Legal rights for female home-based workers stressed

It further resolved that micro credit should be provided to such entrepreneurs on flexible conditions and these workers get registered in order to avail the privileges of the labour as defined by the labour laws.

The workshop, a project of the Aurat Foundation was held jointly with its sub-committee focused on home-based female workers emancipation. Some fifty representatives of different NGOs in Sindh working for the same reason attended the programme. Female home-based workers from different handicraft industries also participated in the seminar. They voiced their problems at the forum which suggested that their economic prospects have not improved over the past decade, while contrary to that inflation has affected them equally much as other social classes.

It was said sometimes certain jobs take up more time than a single day on account of precision needed at the time of making, but the wages remain the same.
Speakers, that included Nuzhat Shireen of the Aurat Foundation, Farhat Perveen of PILER, Nadira Parveen, Vice President of the First Women’s Bank, and Aslam Brohi, Fareed Awan and Shireen Khan, human rights activists, unanimously stressed that workers at all levels should be registered legally and must recognise their rights of respectable earning and certain basic privileges. Nuzhat Shireen, emphasising the need for all workers to get registered and said that if the employer does not register his workers, the workers must form a union and get themselves registered in order to enjoy benefits like pensions, health allowances, gratuity like other labours do get according to the law.

Farhat Parveen discussed the situation of home-based workers in the informal sector and mentioned that these workers get exploited immensely and earn 40 per cent less than those working in the formal sector, while Fareed Awan deliberated on the C-177 Convention of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and emphasised the need for Pakistan rectifying it in order to liberate its labour class.
Aslam Brohi discussed the initiatives taken in this regard by the civil society and their achievements and challenges. He urged the participants to form a network in the province, be devoted to the project and make monthly reports of the situation and problems of home-based workers in their own constituencies. Later these reports shall be shared with the Aurat Foundation so that an action plan could be formulated to improve the picture.

Source: The News

Date:1/21/2007

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