LAHORE: The South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK), on Friday, organised a national conference, titled “A Tribute to the Struggle of Women Peasants and Workers”, in commemoration of the Labour Day.
The conference’s aim was to acknowledge and appreciate the struggle of women peasants and agricultural labourers for their rights and highlight the issues they are facing. Around 250 peasants and workers from SAP-PK peasant and worker groups, representatives of civil society organisations, and several journalists from across the country were among the participants. SAP-PK coordinator, Shabnam Rashid, gave the welcoming speech and briefed the participants about the Labour Day’s background.
Two documentary films showing farmers’ struggle for their rights were also shown, one on Hasht Nagar and second on Anjuman Mazareen Tehreek. Shabana Naz from Aurat Foundation appreciated the initiative of paying a tribute to the women peasants and workers. She said that women should assert themselves to be acknowledged as human beings with equal rights as that of men.
She suggested that female students should also be given the option to study agriculture as subject. She said that women in Pakistan are facing multiple problems due to society’s rigid and patriarchal attitude. Rubina Jamil said that female workers in Pakistan are not entitled to rights enshrined in international human rights treaties. She said that Pakistan has yet to initiate legislation on ILO convention 177, which is about workers working in an informal economy. SAP-PK Deputy Director, Irfan Mufti, said that peasants and workers are the backbone of the economy but sadly in Pakistan they lived in depressing conditions. He urged that this equation needs to be changed. Nasreen Anjum Bhatti, a famous poetess, read out her poetry in appreciation of women peasants and workers. Also, awards were distributed among fifteen best women peasants and workers in recognition of their efforts for women rights.
Husan Ara Magsi from Balochistan and Haemeeda Ghanghro from Sindh also spoke on the occasion. The speakers were of the view that the peasants and workers throughout the country are facing the same problems and they must become united in the struggle for their rights, adding that the government needed to take immediate steps to ensure social security, health and education of peasants and workers.Daily times