A large number of female agriculture workers from different villages of Matiari and other districts joined a rally to mark International Women Day. The rally organised by Sindh Community Foundation (SCF)which attracted women workers, mostly cotton pickers and those work in agriculture sector.
The rally was attended by civil society and labor rights activists Punhal Sario of Sindh Hari Porhyat Council -SHPC, Javed Hussain of Sindh Community Foundation, Dr Ashothama of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Razaq Umrani of HANDS, Beena of SPARC, and Fareeda Chana of Green Works Foundation.
Cotton is one of the major cash crops of Sindh province and women have more to say about their wages. Participants demanded for pro-women legislation with recognition of informal labor into policy to protect their social safety net and increase wages and for social and economic protection.
Pakistan’s most important industrial and export sector, textile and clothing (T&C) industry rely on these women workers, who are being deprived of their wages, despite the fact they take risk to collect cotton in scorching heat. Javed Hussain says: “Although these women are responsible for the industry’s growth, they remain poor and exploited as their wages are extremely low. That is why they have weak bargaining power and their health suffers from a hazardous working environment that involves excessive use of poisonous pesticides.”
Source: Business Recorder