LAHORE: On the occasion of the International Women’s Day (IWD), women belonging to the Women’s Action Forum (WAF), All Pakistan Trade Union Federation, Awami Workers Party, Bonded Labour Liberation Front, Homenet Pakistan, Labour Education Foundation, Tameer-e-Nau, Feminist Collective Lahore and WISE paid rich tributes to working women.
The day marks the beginning of the global women’s movement. A century ago on this day, women collectively raised their voice for the right to vote and to be made a part of the political process, in addition to being provided employment opportunities and equal rights.
This year, a special tribute was paid to the hardworking Pakistani women associated with the farming industry. The day also celebrated the bravery and commitment of millions of women who worked and toiled in factories, brick kilns and agro-businesses as bonded labour, and those who worked as low paid domestic workers or who worked in the fishing and farming industries.
Women from different walks of life also saluted those who have successfully enacted policies in Sindh and Punjab for the protection of domestic and other workers.
Key WAF members lost this year were also remembered on the occasion, including late women and human rights advocate Asma Jahangir. Lala Rukh, a staunch and principled member of WAF, and Nigar Ahmed were also remembered.
Women belonging to different social groups and organisations also pledged to support the millions of invisible domestic workers and unpaid family helpers in rural areas and demanded that their struggle should be acknowledged on a larger scale. They also demanded the elimination of the wage gap by ensuring minimum wages for all.