Aurat Publication & Information Service Foundation
National Working Women Day Celebrated, Lahore


National Working Women Day Celebrated

Aurat Foundation, Office of Ombudsperson, WISE and AAWAZ Voice and Accountability Programme jointly organized an  event in connection with the commemoration of National Working Women Day, on 22 December, 2015, at auditorium of Lahore of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). Besides large number of working women, several women representatives of civil society organizations, labour unions and govt. departments including police department, Traffic police, Rescue 1122 and media joined the occasion.

Ms.  Mumtaz Mughal, Resident Director, Aurat Foundation, highlighted the issue of limited role of women in decision-making forums and process, which must be increased. Majority of working women are involved in labour intensive jobs in the informal sector, at home and agriculture sector. They take care of crops and livestock, doing vital tasks in home-based manufacturing industry.  Many earn half the wages as compared to men for the same work and face double the problems in terms of gender discrimination, intimidation and most of all sexual harassment.

Ms. Farkhanda Waseem Afzal, Women Ombudsperson, while talking about the law on sexual harassment at working, she said her office is working to ensure harassment free work environment for the women. She urged the working women to speak against the violation of their rights and if they face sexual harassment workplace, feel free to contact her office.

Ms. Bushra Khaliq Executive Director, WISE, said working women are an asset of Pakistan, whether they are working in the formal or informal sector. The budget priorities for the women empowerment are real indicator of govt. sincerity towards women. The govt. should increase budgetary allocation and must stop cuts on this budget, she added

Ms. Sadia Sohail, MPA from PTI,  said, women are the best economic managers, good PROs and fine politicians. Their role in reducing corruption is crucial. Women must encourage women to come forward and claim their due space in various sectors.

Mr. Salaman Abid, Regional head SPO, said, development without women’s participation is impossible. Many women want come out of the home and to work, but the real problem is provision of conducive and harassment free work environment to the women.  State must provide social protection to working classes and particularly the women.

Ms. Lubna Mansoor, from Ministry of Human rights, said government values the vital role of women and is very much aware of human rights issues being faced by the women and other marginal sections of society. A number of pro-women laws are the evidence of state sincerity towards women cause. She appreciated the role of civil society in highlighting and promoting the women’s human rights in Pakistan.

Ms. Ammara Athar, SP Operations, Ms. Gulam Fatima from BLLF, Ms. Ruqiaya Bano from Rescue 1122 and Ms. Fakhara Tehreem from Daily Jang also spoke on the occasion and expressed their solidarity with the organizers for celebrating the important day of working women.