HYDERABAD: The Home-Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) on Wednesday called for the implementation of the policy drafted by it in consultation with other relevant organisations for due rights of home-based workers.

Speaking at a press conference in the local press club on Wednesday, the federation’s general secretary Zehra Khan announced that her organisation would observe ‘South Asian Home-Based Workers Day’ on Thursday by raising its voice for the rights of this neglected segment of society.

She said the federation had submitted the draft policy to the government but it was yet to be implemented.

Stressing that the home-based workers act must be finalised for the welfare of workers, she said that more than five million people in Sindh alone would benefit from the policy.

HBWWF information secretary Shakeela Khan, Home-based Women Bangle Workers Union general secretary Jameela Abdul Lateef and others were present at the press conference.

Presenting a charter of demands, they said that home-based workers should be given social cover; the federal and provincial governments should employ a tripartite mechanism for resolving of their issues.

The government should ratify the ILO convention C177, signed in 1996, and should make laws in the light of it.

They said that all political parties should put workers welfare and struggle for labour rights on their agenda and workers should be defined in the book of law accordingly to the production system in the current scenario.

They also demanded for establishment of training centers for home-based women workers and facilities to provide them special access to markets for showcasing their products.

Speaking about the day, Zehra Khan explained that Oct 20 was a historic day for home-based workers because in Katmandu Decla­ration in 2000, labour unions and other organisations had decided to commemorate this day as ‘South Asian Home-Based Workers Day’ and pledged a struggle for the rights, social security and identity of more than 50 million home-based workers in South Asia, of them 80 per cent were women.

She said the HBWWF would organise a rally in Karachi and a workers’ convention in Sanghar on Thursday.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2016

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