The voiceless contributors to the informal sector of our economy who are “temporarily engaged, unregistered, unprotected, isolated, and not organized” are none else but the rural and urban home based women /girls workers, the ones whom the law of the land does not recognize as “workers” in legal sense.
They work day and night in the most unhygienic conditions but their toils do not win for them even the legal minimum wage which itself is far short of what is necessary to meet the very basic needs. They who not only work in /from their homes but also in the agricultural fields /farms to ensure food security for all and pace up the process of mainstream development themselves remain deprived of even the very basic social benefits. Additionally, the structure of the supply chain makes it very difficult to monitor labour rights issues of these women/girls coming from poor and ultra-poor segments of society.
Women home based workers’ tribulations get multiplied by the patriarchal cum feudalistic social and cultural structures and mindset which perceive them to be a commodity and socialize them to lead a life of dependence. In the socio-political arena, they generally are taught not to be the makers but the followers even in those decisions that directly affect their own lives. They are subjected to mental and psychic affliction, domestic violence and sexual harassment in the indoor /outdoor lives etc.
On the eve of World Rural Women’s Day being celebrated on Saturday Baidarie (NGO) Sialkot commits its perfect solidarity to the cause of protecting and promoting the rights of women in general and the rights of home based women /girls workers in particular.
The organization would also like to emphatically plead with the state functionaries, support agencies, business circles, industry and every catalyst for change in civil society to join hands to advance pragmatic, systemic and coherent efforts to secure institutional guarantees for bringing home based women/girls workers out of the vicious cycle of poverty and empowering them in economic, social and political terms so that they may also enjoy reasonable choices in life.