Shandana urges govt to own women workers’ issues

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By Hina Kiyani

ISLAMABAD: Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Chairperson and MNA Shandana Gulzar Thursday urged the government to take ownership of the issues facing women workers across the country.
Speaking at the ‘Joint Declaration Presentation Ceremony’ organized here by the WWA in collaboration with Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, she also drew attention to the economic losses incurred due to under-representation of women in the national labour force.
Dutch Ambassador to Pakistan Wouter Plomp, Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce, Trade, and Industry Aliya Hamza Malik, TDEA Director Programme Muddassir Rizvi, and EWAM Team Lead Uzma Farogh also addressed the function. Ambassador Wouter Plomp said recognition of an issue was the first step towards its resolution. The Joint Declaration of CCIs and WWA was a major leap towards enhanced economic participation of women workers, he added. Aliya Hamza Malik underscored the importance of workers’ perspective, especially of women in resolving issues related to commerce and trade in the country. Muddassir Rizvi, highlighting the importance of WWA, said the WWA not only challenged the dominant patriarchal ideas that had undervalued the work of women and hindered their attempts at organizing, but the unique approach of coordination and collaboration had also been helpful in setting new practices for trade unionism.
A national collective of women workers employed in formal sectors titled Women Workers Alliance (WWA) and 13 Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCIs) including those representing federal and provincial capitals resolved to work together to ameliorate the working conditions for women as a means to improve economic growth of the country.