- Dutch Envoy Inaugurates Women Workers Alliance’s Formation Meeting
ISLAMABAD, June 7, 2017: Prominent women workers employed in different sectors in the federal capital gathered here on Wednesday to form a cross-sectoral alliance of women employees to push for safe and conducive workplaces.
Women entrepreneurs and workers employed in public, private and industrial sectors formed a 25-member Women Workers Alliance (WWA). The alliance is mandated to collectively negotiate on behalf of women workers with employers, duty-bearers, line departments and the parliament for better and safe workplaces.
WWA members have vast experience of not only earning their livelihoods but also taking part actively in activities for demanding rights for women workers through trade unions and professional associations. These women have been engaging in various formal or informal ways to highlight the plight of women workers. The group’s formation has been facilitated by the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability – Free and Fair Election Network (TDEA-FAFEN) that is implementing a 24-month project titled as Women Action for Better Workplaces (WAction). WAction has facilitated establishment of such alliances in five metropolitan cities- Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad- that host one fifth of total women employment in formal sectors. Royal Netherlands Embassy is funding WAction initiatives.
Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Pakistan H.E. Jeannette Seppen was the Chief Guest in the maiden meeting of WWA.
Expressing her views on the occasion, Ambassador Seppen said that acknowledging the contribution of women workers in economy of the country is of prime importance. Women across the world are doing much more work than can ever be accounted for. The Ambassador said she met wonderful women from across Pakistan and was encouraged by their enormous potential and eagerness to contribute towards the prosperity of their family and the nation. She expressed her commitment to facilitate these women to realize this potential and multiply their contribution for the better future of Pakistan.
Project Lead Rukhsana Shama, while giving salient features of the project, said the cross sectoral women worker’s alliance will play a pivotal role in pursuing better standards at work, in both the private and the public sector.
The Women Workers Alliance agreed to meet on a monthly basis in a bid to seek early solution to the problems women face at their work places. They underlined the need for collective efforts for enforcement and compliance of existing labour laws and pledged to work towards improving the current working conditions of women workers in their respected districts.
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