PESHAWAR: The representatives of various civil society organisations have stressed the need for devising provincial policy for home-based worker and its implementation through district and provincial administration.

The demand was made during an event titled “Awareness-raising and policy advocacy on women’s rights and labour laws for women workers’’ arranged by HomeNet Pakistan here on Thursday. The awareness drive was funded by USAID under Gender Equity Programme (GEP) of Aurat Foundation.

Speaking on the occasion, Ume Laila Azhar, executive director of HomeNet Pakistan said that the majority of home-based workers were women and their economic activities were contributing significantly to the economy.

She said that home-based workers should be prioritised within poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment initiatives and national and provincial government programmes.

Shabina Ayaz, regional director of Aurat Foundation Peshawar, said that GEP was aimed at increasing women’s access to justice, empowerment of women at home and workplace, combating gender-based violence and building capacities of civil society organisations working for women rights.

The grant closing meeting, she said, was activity supported under Grant Cycle 7A of GEP that focused on awareness-raising and policy advocacy on women rights and labour laws for women workers.

Speaking on the occasion, Hidayatulla, the acting director general of labour development department, said that they always supported the cause of home-based workers.

He said that women played an important role in the labour and the economy. The home-based workers policy was facing a challenge in the absence of unions of home-based workers, he said.

The official said that there were several laws with regard to labour that were amended and presented to the parliament and specific clauses for the protection of women workers were added to them.

He said that unions of home-based workers were registered in Mardan. He said that registration of the union of home-based workers and domestic workers as general workers union was underway.

The participants were informed that a resolution to devise provincial policy for home-based workers was tabled in the assembly.

Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2015

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