MPS urged to improve enforcement of gender relevant legislation


Activists have urged the public representatives elected during national polls 2018 to exercise their mandate for improving the enforcement of gender-relevant legislation focusing on specifically excluded workers such as home-based and domestic workers.
Talking to APP here Wednesday they said categorical commitments on part of every political party, particularly the ruling party is direly needed, to focus on the issues related to millions of workers associated with informal sector including Women Home Based Workers.
The large scale informal sector in Pakistan of which majority are women around, tirelessly work to benefit themselves, the economy and society, on a whole, should recognize and appreciate their efforts, said Dr Ume Laila Rizvi, a senior economist and coordinator, HomeNet Pakistan.
Activists were of unanimous opinion that governments, coming into power at the centre as well as provinces, must establish “Labour Commissions” to examining laws and regulations particularly the labour legislation and business regulations for their relationship with and impact on informal economy and its different sectors.
“These analyses should also be complimented with provision for fresh legislation related to the role of labour inspection, wages, universal social security as well as the capacity and competence of labour administration,” said Mehnaz Rehman, Resident Director, Aurat Foundation.
Naheed Syed, committed to the cause of HBW empowerment said existing labour legislation can be extended to cover different groups of informal workers particularly from the perspective of multiple role-bearing responsibilities of women, as and where new legislation may be required with particular reference to informal economy.
“Scope of such an effort should include learning and adapting from good practices of labour legislation from elsewhere as well as development of relevant strategies,” she said.
This, Syed emphasized must encompass gender-wise indicators of labour situation and dynamics in home-based sub-contracted, domestic, self-employed sectors and other unregulated sectors.
The activists also recommended setting-up legal aid committees in industrial estates/areas in aid with local government and Pakistan Bar Council employing women lawyers.
Implementation of the anti-sexual Harassment laws at all levels within the formal and informal sector must also be ensured, they added while also seeking provision of special women facilitation desks with women officers in labour- related departments like EOBI, Workers Welfare Fund, Workers Welfare Board, Social Security, Minimum Wage Boards/Authorities etc—APP

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