International Women’s Day: Vigil pays tributes to struggle of women, demands gender equality

Karachi, March 07, 2019 (PPI-OT): Home-based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) here Thursday arranged a vigil on the eve of the 108th international women’s day and paid rich tributes to the struggle of women for their rights, particularly women workers, here Thursday in front of the Karachi Press Club. A large number of women workers and civil society members gathered and lit candles. They paid rich tribute to women, especially working women who bravely struggled for the rights of women and raised a strong voice against social injustice and challenged oppressing forces.

The speakers said that textile garment women workers in 1820 had initiated struggle against capitalist system, which turned into an international movement for social rights and gender justice. They said it is necessary to talk on the issue related to women workers so as to get them resolved.

Addressing the vigil, United Home-based Women Workers Union general secretary Saira Feroze said that as a result of the efforts and great movement of revolutionary leader of women workers Comrade Clara Zetkin, the Second Conference of Socialist International for Working Women announced to celebrate this day at global level. She said today like whole world in Pakistan also this day has become the day for liberating women, especially working women, from all sorts of oppression. The history of Pakistan shows that women and their representatives have raised strong voice against social injustice and attacks on democracy.

She said that Comrade Tahira Mazhar Ali was the first socialist leader of Pakistan who started celebrating the March 8 in this country. She had also challenged the oppressing system of capitalists and feudal lords. She said Comrade Shanta, Comrade Afsal Tauseef, Mai Bakhtawar were the great women revolutionaries that organized movements of women Haris and workers in this country. The great Pakistani women who challenged dictatorship included Fatima Jinnah, Benazir Bhutto and Asma Jahangir, who fought the dark forces at the time when even talking against them was difficult.

HBWWF central leader Shabnam Azeem said that following the traditions of women’s movement, the Hari women of Okara, lady health workers, home-based working women, affected women of Baldia fire factory and women belonging to others walks of life have written a new history of their successful struggles. Today in Pakistan when warring mentality and religious extremism in rising and the country is being enslaved by the imperialist financial institutions, the working women and their organizations are resisting along with masses and other progressive organizations and challenging the anti-people policies of rulers.

They demanded that special lessons about the life and struggle of great women should be included in curriculum. All discriminatory laws against women should be abolished, armed outfits of religious extremists should not be supported and all seminaries should be nationalized and included in mainstream educational system. They demanded that ideology to support warmongering should be banned. Discriminatory attitude towards women in factories, industries and workplaces should be ended and safety should be given to the working women.

Working women of informal sector, especially home-based women workers, should be registered with social security institutions. Forced sacking and pay reduction of media worker be ended. Legislation should be made to end sexual harassment of Hari women. Women workers of local and international garment brands should be given their rights as per labour laws. The demands of protesting docks workers should be accepted and lady health workers should be given service structure.

Those attended the vigil also included Zahida Baji of United Home-based Women Workers Union, Saeed Khatoon of Association of affectees of Baldia factory fire, Nasir Mansoor of National Trade Union Federation, Usman Baloch of Awami Workers Party, Zubair Rehman columnist, and Comrade Sultan of JKNP.

For more information, contact:
Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF)
726, Mashrique Centre, Block 14, Gulshan-e-Iqbal,
Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-37075324