In order to make women workers aware of their labor rights, and promote women friendly work places, Bedari took initiative of project entitled “Enhancing women workers awareness on their rights and labor laws” in Multan with collaboration of Aurat Foundation and USAID under gender Equity Program (GEP). Following are the salient features and achievements of the project.
The situational analysis done in the project area revealed serious violations of labor laws in terms of work environment, minimum wages of women, social security or job security, safety measurements, gender disparity, functioning of trade union, and lack of awareness about labor rights among women workers. There was a serious need to raise awareness about the labor laws, and empower women workers by building their capacity and giving them exposure to reach out to the labor department, labor courts, and the senior management at their workplace to get their problems resolved instead of continuing to work at an unfriendly work place.
Right after situation analysis, women worker’s convention was organized. The audience comprised of 185 women workers and above 40 attendees from other walks of life. The event provided an eye-opening charter of demands generated from situation analysis and motivated provincial political leaders to highlight these issues in Punjab Assembly. All the participants signed a charter of demand, and presented it to the political leadership.
Bedari held two sessions on anti-sexual harassment act with the employers of selected beneficiaries. They became motivated to establish women friendly spaces at their workplaces. Total 54 (13 female, and 41 male) employers participated in the sessions and committed to form anti sexual harassment committees.
A series of five training workshops on women rights and labor laws was conducted by Bedari trainers. 184 women workers were trained. Through training, the workers not only gained knowledge, but also became more self-confident, especially the uneducated ones. The trainings created awareness on labor laws and sensitized them about anti sexual harassment act at grass root level.
Five women worker leaders (WWL) were selected from each group of trainees on basis of their active participation and clarity of concepts. In order to develop leadership skills, and advocacy in women workers, 25 women workers (5 leaders from each target area) were further trained by Bedari trainers. The leaders got confidence how to deliver roll out activities in their communities.
In mid of June 2015, second women worker’s convention was held where 155 women workers and attendees including guest speakers, lawyers, panelists, NGO representatives, media persons, civil society, theater team and Bedari staff participated. Active participation of women workers as compare to the previous one was observed.
Registration of four thousands (4000) home based workers is completed in Multan and HBW will get recognition as worker and all benefits (social security card, fixed wages, BISP card etc.) under labor laws from December, 2015.