NewsWomen RightsWorld Women's Day

Women workers demand ‘Peace, Bread and Equality’

Home-Based Women Workers Federation and other organizations will jointly organize a rally under this slogan in Karachi on March 8

A cultural program would be held at the end of the rally. Large number of women workers, peasants, home-based workers, female students, transgender and other workers would attend the rally.

Sindh Courier

Karachi

Women workers in Pakistan are facing immense problem on social, economic and political fronts. They are not getting equal wages for equal work. Their demand is peace, bread and equality, said workers leaders at a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Wednesday in connection with their ‘Women Workers’ Rally’ of March 8.

General Secretary Home-based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) Zehra Akbar Khan said that this year the women workers have decided to stage a huge ‘woman workers rally’ under the slogan of ‘Peace, Bread and Equality’ on March 8, as per the real spirit and ideology of this great day.

This rally would march from Fuwara Chowk to the Arts Council at 3:00 pm. A cultural program would be held at the end of the rally. Besides thousands of women workers, peasants and women home-based workers, a large number of female students, transgender and other workers would attend the rally.

Zehra Khan and other leaders said the question of gender and economic emancipation of woman is directly related to the independence of society. “If woman is demanding gender equality and economic freedom, she is in fact demanding to free the society. If the half of the population faces the worst social, political economic, cultural and gender-based discrimination, then the degradation and fall of the society is inevitable”, they said.

Women Workers-Press Conference-Sindh Courier-1They said that the national laws, faith-based ideologies or so-called social norms are bent to prove that woman is a lesser creature as compared to man. A long history of thousands of years from the slavery era to ongoing modern period of capitalism has presented this anti-women nonsense and myths as undeniable facts. Resultantly, a major part of our society has unconsciously and consciously accepted woman as a slave, a personal property and possession and a second-class citizen and already decided that this status of woman in unchangeable. This is why the society, generally – vocally or silently -supports those quarters who come with the reasons and rationale to justify this inhuman attitude being meted out to woman.

Zainab Nasir, Youth Leader of Alternate, Karamat Ali, Convener National Labor Council, Rukhsana, member All Lady Health Workers Employee Union, Shakeela Khan, President Home Based Women Bangle Workers Union Hyderabad, Sabhagi Bheel, Leader of Hari Workers, Saira Feroz, General Secretary United HB Garment Workers Union, Bebo Haider, Trans Right Activist President Subrang Society, Elsa Qazi, Student Activist, Moomal Nasir and others spoke.

The speakers demanded equal wages for equal work; increase in wages in proportion to the price hike; doing away difference in wages on the basis of gender; registering all workers including home-based workers and peasants with social security and pension institutions; increasing fully paid maternity leaves as per labor laws; protection at workplaces and formation of vigilance committees as per law in all institutions; opening of child care centers at workplaces; maximum working hours should be eight hours a day and forcing workers to work on weekly holidays should be stopped.

They also demanded that all discriminatory laws against women should be abolished; the tribal and feudal systems that have enslaved the women for centuries should be annulled; kidnapping, sexual torture and forced conversion of Hindu peasant women should be stopped; women should be given representation in all elected houses as per their share in population; demolition of old settlements including those belonging to labors in the name of development should be stopped; violence against women, children, minorities and transgender community should be declared as crime; Sindh government should enact legislation for transgender and protect their rights and lady health workers should be given their scale and should be registered under pension scheme.

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