Lady health workers (LHWs) — who have been protesting in Islamabad for the last five days — announced on Monday that they would march towards parliament if the government failed to accept their demands. Hundreds of women have been protesting since Oct 14 for a service structure and an increase in salaries to meet rising inflation.
National Programme Health Employees Federation President Rukhsana Anwar, who is leading the sit-in, said protesters were waiting for their colleagues from Charsadda, Mardan and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before marching to the Parliament.
“We will leave for Parliament once they arrive. We have decided on a strategy for our march to Parliament,” she said. A day earlier, Anwar had asked for the protesters’ demands to be met immediately. “A service structure and creation of service rules, and an increase in salaries, are our main demands which should be met immediately.”
Anwar said lady health workers had no service structure and were paid little — from Rs20,000 to Rs22,000 other than LHWs from Sindh, who were paid Rs20,000 and another Rs17,000 in the form of a Covid-19 risk allowance. She said it was decided during a meeting the protesting LHWs held with Punjab Health Secretary Ajmal Bhatti on Sunday that all their demands, including framing a service structure, would be met.