KARACHI: Home-based women workers from different parts of the city have demanded that they be included in the social security net after the chief minister finally approved a policy on recognising their rights.

The demand was put across by a group of home-based workers at a meeting held at Shahjahan Hall in Yusuf Goth, Gadap Town on Wednesday.

Organised by the Home-Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF), the meeting was attended by women workers from Orangi and Baldia Town apart from Gadap Town.

According to HBWWF secretary general Zehra Khan, Sindh is the first province in the country to have recognised the rights of home-based workers.

“As the policy is signed, providing recognition to around 12 million workers in Sindh, the workers ask to be included in the social security net as well.”

Ms Khan said the workers, who had forwarded the policy and worked on another act, passed away. She claimed that the Sindh Industrial Relations Act, 2013, which was awaiting the approval of a notification from the provincial assembly, was a progressive act concerning the labour class working in both formal and informal sectors.

“Now our immediate concern is to get the 12 million home-based workers, of which 80 per cent are women, under the social security network such as the Sindh Emplo­yees Social Security Institution (SESSI) and Employees Old-Age Benefit Institution (EOBI),” she added.

The forthcoming issues to be raised by the HBWWF, include the wage gap between both men and women labourers in the field. According to Ms Khan, men usually earn more than women in this society.

“The reasons given to us for the wage gap vary from women not working enough to demanding too much money. Our next target is to sort out the wage gap between men and women, as the reasons do not match the reality we have seen on ground. Women have to work twice as hard to be recognised anywhere; this profession is no different,” she added.

Published in Dawn December 15th, 2016

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