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Minister urged to provide daycare centres

KARACHI: The fact that only 9.4 per cent of the women in Karachi known to be actively working shocked Sindh Women Development Department’s Mussarat Jabeen.
She was speaking at a seminar that the Directorate of Women Development had organised on Monday to mark the National Working Women Day. Women development minister Rubina Qaimkhani was the chief guest.
According to Jabeen, the deputy secretary of the women development department, the workforce participation of women in Karachi is shocking given that a large number of them were seen working outdoors. The National Database Registration Authority should introduce a column of ‘work’ when they collect data in identity cards.
“Male gender roles need to be revised in order to help working women,” said one of the speakers, Farhat Ishtiaq, while highlighting dilemma of working women. “It is impractical to expect a woman to do both house chores and office work, and maintain a balance between them.”
Bilquis Rehman, general manager at NGO Hands, urged the minister to consider certain requests to help working women. She stressed the need to provide mandatory baby rooms and daycare centres at all factories and institutions in the province.
Laws related to sexual harassment should be properly enforced and the number of gender committees at each organisation be increased, she said, adding that the number of hostels for working women should also be increased.
The seminar seemed to have lacked the right audience as the speakers addressed people from NGOs and employees of the directorate instead of working women who might have shared their experiences and problems. The platform provided, however, office-bearers of the NGOs with an opportunity to know more about each other and how they can collaborate for working towards women’s development.
Express Tribune