National Commission on the Status of Women

Govenrment of Pakistan

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National Commission on the Status of Women takes on the issue of Home Based Workers

Nov 30, -0001

Three fourth of women workers in Pakistan are engaged in home based work, where they get low wages and are vulnerable to abuse of all forms, says the Chairperson of the Commission, Anis Haroon, in the opening speech of a Consultation on the Social Protection of Home Based Women Workers. This consultation was organized at the Commission office for developing key aspects of legislation for the protection of HBW.
This session was chaired by Ms.Shehnaz Wazir Ali, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Social Sector and was concluded by Ms Yasmeen Rehman, Advisor to the PM on Women’s development. It was attended by civil society organizations that have been working on these issues. The heavy representations for all provinces which included Ministers of Women’s Development from Baluchistan and Sindh and senior officials from Punjab and AJK. Nafeesa Shah, secretary of the Women’s Causus also appreciated the initiative of the NCSW and assured her support in the future.
Shehnaz Wazir Ali, while reiterating the Government’s commitment to women’s rights and social protection said that the government would like to build on the base work of civil society and other stake holders done so far. The Government would like to take it forward by involving all related Ministries and institutions so that women who are working at such extreme levels of poverty do get support. She also said , the organized labor has easy access to the decision making and work related benefits but it is the informal workers that have no voice. Now the time has come, that their voices should guide the policy formulation and legislation. She quoted the example of Bangladesh women workers, where they have formally organized themselves in the government sector through cooperatives and workers communes.
Bushra Khaliq and Aqsa Khan from a network Karkun, made a presentation on the current situation of the HBW and outlined the proposed features of a legislation on this marginalized sector of the society. The discussion was moderated by Dr Fouzia Saeed where all stakeholders made their suggestions.
Yasmeen Rehman, while stating the way forward said that the Ministry of Women is committed to take this draft legislation forward after getting views and inputs from all the stakeholders. She also committed to review the policy document on HBW that is with the Ministry and has assured to expedite this work on both fronts. Shehnaz
Wazir Ali asked a network called HOMENET to be the focal point for the taking inputs and finalization of the draft policy to be submitted to the government while she asked KARKUN, a network for the rights of Home based women workers to follow up with the stakeholders and take their inputs for the draft legislation to take it forward with the relevant Government institutions. .

NCSW remains committed to supporting a legislative reform in view of women’s rights. In this regards it takes on discriminatory laws and propose amendments. In this case they have identified a gap in the legislation and provided the forum to facilitate all stakeholders to come to an agreement on the nature of legislation for this vulnerable group.

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