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Sindh Assembly pays tribute to Pakistani women

Karachi: The Sindh Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution moved by Power Minister Shazia Marri to pay tribute to the dynamic women of the country on the eve of International Women’s Day.

Marri requested the house to relax the rules to enable her to move a resolution under Rule 102 of the Rules of Procedure of the Sindh Assembly.

She said the women rights’ movements could be traced back to 100 years and was an outcome of discriminatory treatment against womenfolk since ages.

According to her, the movement began because women were not being given equal wages and were being discriminated socially and otherwise.

The movement, she said, was aimed at establishing a society free of exploitation, a society where women would get justice and equal rights.

Referring to Pakistan, she said more than 50 per cent of Pakistan’s population comprises women and the country could not progress until and unless the women were given their equal rights and paid decent wages.

Marri pointed out that it was Pakistan People’s Party chairperson and the slain prime minister Benazir Bhutto who signed the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1996, established the first Women’s Bank and first women’s police station.

“This Assembly is proud to commemorate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2011,” reads the resolution. The resolution paid tribute to the dynamic women of Pakistan, “who strive passionately for the betterment of the country, and its future, despite numerous substantial impediments.”


‘Home-based female workers earning a pittance’

Karachi: Home-based female workers must get a minimum salary of Rs7,000 as has been stated by the law, stressed members of HomeNet Pakistan on Monday while highlighting the plight of women in the country.

Speaking at the Karachi Press Club, social activist Farhat Parveen said that 20 million women are working in homes and are earning very little. She added that they make up 65 percent of the total number of women working in the country. Parveen pointed out that they are involved in making tube-lights, bangles, shoes, sewing and packing clothes.

“These women are the most suppressed of all workers,” she said, while reading out the recommendations made in the national policy to address the issues faced by these working women.

The recommendations include the formation of a council to deal with health issues of the workers, ensure an increase in their wages, the provision of security and the strengthening of their trade unions.

Home-based worker Rehana Yaseen pointed out that as part of the registration process initiated by the EOBI; female workers have to pay Rs420 a month to the old-age fund. She questioned how a woman who was earning a mere Rs1000 per month could afford to sacrifice such a large portion of her salary. Yaseen also said that those women earning between Rs3,000 and Rs4,000 a month may have to work for over 12 hours a day.

“These days a large number of small industries are based out of homes and in these cases, it’s the owners who benefit the most as their costs are reduced by a great deal. However, the female home-based workers suffer the most as the price they are wage for every piece they produce is meagre,” she added.

Sabiha Shah of Lyari Community Development said that in neighbouring countries, the law comes to the aid of women who toil at home. “Our government must learn and provide protection for these women.”

Source: The News