LAHORE, July 23: HomeNet South Asia has expressed keen interest in formation of cooperative societies in Pakistan for home-based women workers (HBWWs).

This was stated by HomeNet South Asia’s Regional Coordinator for India Sapna Joshi during a meeting with a Sarsabz Foundation (SF) delegation on Tuesday. Ms Joshi said the HomeNet South Asia was formed in the light of discussions at a conference on 'Women’s role in informal economy’ to organise home-based workers at regional level, to exchange and share the success and failure stories as learning and to put pressure on the government to demand legislation for HBWWs through its advocacy efforts. As a result, Nepal and Pakistan have taken a lead in drafting the policy for home-based workers.

Earlier, Ms Joshi and HomeNet South Asia’s India Programme Manager Renu Golani were briefed by SF delegation on the concept of cooperative societies of home-based women workers in Pakistan.

SF Punjab Resident Director Iftikhar Rasul, Information and Documentation Officer Nadia Mohsin and Programme Officer Waqas Bukhari informed Ms Joshi and Ms Golani that empowering HBWWs through cooperative societies was launched for the first time in Pakistan.

The project has successfully been operating in Faisalabad and Jhang districts of Punjab in cooperation with ICMC Pakistan.

The Indian delegation was informed that 10 cooperative societies had been successfully working in the two districts and such cooperative societies would soon be set up in Lahore, Gujranwala and Kasur districts.

A core group of HBWWs of these districts had been set up and the existing cooperative societies were actively working on strong footing there heading towards economic sustainability.

Ms Joshi appreciated the initiatives of SF’s Executive Director Dr Naveeda Shoaib and expressed the desire to visit these cooperative societies in near future.

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