LAHORE - Speakers at a seminar threw light on the plight of home-based working women.

They were speaking at Hameed Nizami Press Institute of Pakistan that organised a seminar on ‘Economic Empowerment of Women in Informal Sector-Organizational Issues’ at HNPIP Auditorium near China Chowk on Friday.

Minister for Population Welfare Zakia Shah Nawaz presided over while Pakistan Workers Federation President Muhammad Yaqoob was chief guest on the occasion. Speakers included Homenet Pakistan Director Umme Laila Azhar and Working Women Organization Director Aima Mehmood. HNPIP Director Absar Abdul Ali was the moderator on the occasion. The institute in collaboration with the Homenet Pakistan organised the sitting.

The speakers were of the view that home-based workers should be given their due right to make trade unions and legislation is needed to facilitate the victimised workers and ensure provision of social security to them.

Begum Zakia Shahnawaz said that enough had been said and heard about the rights of women, it was time to work actively for them. She said the Punjab government was all willing to legislate on women issues. She said that her ministry would support the cause of women. The government, she said, is all tending to provide their due right through legislation. She said that the media should also highlight such grave issues.

Umme Laila Azhar advised women to fight for their rights on all forums. She said the need was to activate 52 per cent women and over 60 per cent labour class to bring revolution. She said that the participation of women in all walks of life was milestone. She said that the need was to follow in the footsteps of the developing countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia that gave the workers their due rights.

Muhammad Yaqoob said that weak trade unions gave birth to powerful employers that exploited needy workers. He said that the government’s privatisation policy would further deepen the depressed workers and the well informed circles must strike hard.

Noted journalist Taseer Mustafa focused on timely and healthy wages to workers. He said that the media could not pay due attention to the workers issues. He said capitalism will never promote labor rather exploit them for their vested interests. He said that the laws alone will bring no good to the working class; the administration should implement them in letter and spirit.

Aima Mehmood said that globalisation, privatisation and other such pro-capitalist tactics and policies would ultimately lead to more exploitation of home-based women workers. She said that society should shun such attitude that discouraged women workers.

Political parties, she proposed, should activate their women wings and women parliamentarians focus on the issues of such women who become victims. Admitting importance of the legislation, she held, that the implantation of such laws was more importance.