ISLAMABAD: Only a quarter of Pakistan’s female university graduates are employed.
SSDO and the Women Workers Alliance held a press conference at the National Press Club (NPC) on Wednesday in which they discussed this issue in further depth. To show their support for increased funding and stricter enforcement of labour regulations, attendees of the meeting took part in a short walk.
It was also shown that most women labour in the informal sector, which has even worse working conditions. There is no oversight, and if you have a problem, there isn’t much you can do about it.
The WWA is a group of female employees from 14 districts that have formed provincial coalitions and a national entity to fight for the rights of women in the workplace. A wide range of professionals from academia, the media, the legal profession, civic society, and the commercial sector attended the event.
WWA members Mussarat Jabeen, Zahida Perveen, and Mehar Nigar shared their personal experiences and findings from the alliance’s workplace monitoring programme and briefed the media.
She emphasised the need for regular work hours, as well as the relevance of health and safety precautions in the workplace to Ms Mussarat. Pakistan already had legislation in place to protect women from workplace harassment, therefore Ms Zahida argued for the ratification of C-190 of the International Labour Organization.
It was also mentioned that certain organisations exploited workers and paid them less than the minimum wage. In addition, she argued that the minimum wage should be re-evaluated considering the increased costs of living and inflation.
To guarantee a reasonable level of life for all citizens, members of the WWA petitioned the government to increase budgetary allocations for social security and safety net programmes, including pensions and health care.
Journalists will help advocate for labour rights, NPC Finance Secretary Nayyer Ali remarked during the event.
Syed Kausar Abbas, the executive director of the SSDO, said that implementing labour laws would only be possible if all parties worked together.