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95pc of home-based women workers without legal protection

HYDERABAD: Labour leaders speaking at a seminar on home-based women workers’ rights observed that employers and governments always exploited workers and denied their due rights.

The two-day seminar was held in the office of the Strengthening Partici­patory Organisation (SPO) in which a large number of labour leaders and home-based workers expressed their views.

All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union president Abdul Latif Nizamani told the participants women workers had always been neglected in all sectors which was a great injustice.

He said the capitalist and feudal systems were being protected in the country, adding that a change could be brought about only through struggle. Mr Nizamani said 95 per cent women home-based workers did not have any legal cover and the number of the women workers covered under the relevant labour laws and rules was shrinking.

He observed that women workers were given low wages as compared to their male counterparts. He noted that labour laws existed but were not being implemented.

He said women workers had no say in the organisations where labour laws did not exist. He urged women workers to organise themselves because no one would pay attention to their problems if they remained disorganised.

Mustafa Baloch of the SPO said that after the French revolution, it was Russian revolution that was labour-specific. He said that now America observed a labour day in September instead of May 1 because they had launched a new phase of struggle.

Home-based Workers regional coordinator Nuzhat Shireen said that in Pakistan, the Articles 8 to 28 of the constitution dealt with human rights but due to an ineffective implementation mechanism, problems were increasing. She said her organisation had sent a draft to the Sindh government’s labour department for home based workers’ policy so that it could be enacted into a law.

Mehboob Ali Qureshi of the Pakistan Workers Confederation and Zainab Khan of the Home-Based Workers also spoke.