Women workers stage rally, vow to struggle till getting full rights

Hyderabad, March 09, 2019 (PPI-OT):Home-based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) held a big rally here on Friday on the occasion of International Women’s Day and vowed to continue their struggle till all due social, political and economic rights are given to women. The rally was led by HBWWF general secretary Zahra Khan while Sajida Kausar was the moderator.

Thousands of women workers belonging to different parts of Sindh attended the rally, waving red flags and displaying banners and portraits of revolutionary women leaders, they chanted slogans for their rights. The rally started from the Haider Bux Chowk and after marching on different streets ended at the Hyderabad Press Club.

Addressing the rally, Zahra Khan said that today women workers of Pakistan are celebrating the 108th international women’s day in a grim situation, where the clouds of war are looming large over the region. She said armed extremists have virtually held hostage over two billion people of this region.

She said the country is facing a worse political and economic crisis due to imprudent policies of the rulers. The sitting government has make Pakistan a slave of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and other lending institutions. Due to this slavery education, healthcare, electricity, gas and daily-use commodities have gone beyond the reach of common man.

United Home Based Garment Workers Union general secretary Saira Feroze said that Pakistan is the country where women face multiple discriminations and oppression. Here they as women are enslaved in the name of so-called social traditions, customs, and outdated thinking. They as a worker face the worst exploitation of capitalist system, which gives them fewer wages as compared to the wages of male workers. Harassment of women at workplaces has become a routine. A woman is not only the source of cheap labour but also of giving birth to new generations of slave labours.

National Trade Union Federation deputy general secretary Nasir Mansoor said that women are braving pain of state oppression in Wana, Waziristan and tribal areas and forced migration from these areas. He said women are crying and protesting in Balochistan, Sindh and other parts of the country for their near and dears one who are forcibly disappeared. They are becoming homeless in cities in the names of beautification of towns. They are deprived of their basic labour rights in factories and industries and also face sexual harassment. They are facing lawlessness of armed gangs and outfits.

Senior Labour leader Usman Baloch said that women as peasants have written a new history in Okara. He said the women related to healthcare sector are writing a new history as lady health workers. When women take a firm stand against state oppression and forced disappearances they become a strong voice of the oppression nations.

Hari leader Sabhagi Bheel said that in Sindh Hari women are living a life that is worse than the life of animals. She said especially Hindu Hari women are braving a slavery that is a disgrace to humanity. Home-based Bangle Worker Union general secretary Shakeela Khan said that the on the occasion of international women’s day, the Pakistani women workers vow to struggle in an organized manner for the realization of their rights.

The rally demanded that all discriminatory laws against women should be abolished. Lessons about the life and works of great women leaders should be made part of curriculum. Armed outfits of religious extremists should not be supported. Economic policies of IMF, World Bank and other international lending institutions should be shunned. Working women should be given protection at workplaces.

Vigilance committees against their harassment should be formed in all institutions as per law. Sexual violence of Hari women, especially Hindu women should be ended and their forced conversions should be stopped. Discrimination in wages on basis of gender should be ended. For equal work equal wages should be given. Wages should be increased as per price hike. Maternity and after-maternity leaves should be increased.

At the end of the rally, the women workers presented tableau and sang revolutionary songs. Those attended the rally also included Saeeda Khatoon chairperson of association of affecttess of Baldia factory fire, Mehboob Qureshi of NTUF, Abdul Khaliq Junejo of Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Saeeda Shaheen of All Pakistan Lady Health Workers Association, Aslam Khokhar of Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party, Zubair Rehman columnist, Salma Junejo of Sindh Aurat Tehrik, Kausar Nisa of HBWWF Shahpur Chakar, Shabnam Azam of HBWWF Karachi and Shakeela Khan of Women Bangle Workers Union, 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