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Policy dialogue on violence and harassment in the world of work held

Policy dialogue on violence and harassment in the world of work held

Islamabad : Shirakat-Partnership for Development held a policy dialogue on ‘Violence and Harassment in the World of Work: Convention C190’ at a here, says a press release. The objective of the event was to advocate for ratification of Convention C190. Shirakat- Partnership for Development is a non-governmental organization working on human rights and women’s rights in Pakistan through organization’s guiding principles of utilization of local wisdom, knowledge and resources; networking, innovation and equal rights and opportunities for all

Zahoor Awan, country director Pakistan Workers Federation, Farkhanda Aurangzeb, a senior consultant to NCHR and Nafeesa Inayatullah, Khan Khattak, Member National Assembly spoke at the first panel to present the current situation of anti-violence and anti-harassment policies in Pakistan.

Zahoor Awan briefed the audience on the history of ILO and how the Convention C190 is a huge success for everyone. Talking about workers in Pakistan, he said that we face issues such as gender wage gap and gender-based discrimination at workplaces. He stressed on the need to strengthen trade unions and promote female leadership. Dr. Farkhanda Aurangzeb talked about exploitation of domestic, home based workers and low-fee schoolteachers and further said that this treatment is not discrimination, but mounts to criminal attitude and behaviour. She said that Convention C190 provides a platform for all those who have been formally marginalised and ignored.

Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak agreeing to the concerns presented by the panel said that she makes a promise to put forward the demands of the panel to the government. She said that 18th Amendment is not an excuse for federal government to not do anything for the workers. She further said that things are improving but not at a pace that she is happy with. Hence, she said that she will personally take the message for ratification of C190 to the Government.

For the second panel Javed Malik, country director Democratic Reporting International (DRI), Nayyab Ali Transgender Rights Activist and Bilquis Tahira Executive Director Shirakat talked on the behalf of older persons. The objective of the panel was to provide suggestion to make policy-making process inclusive. Javed Malik said that there is a need to increase capacity of the institutions to work seriously on Human Rights agenda. He said that we need to make our institutions more democratic.

Nayyab Ali said that transgender community does not have equal access to the job markets as persons from other gender. The concern presented was to accept the transgender community, include them in the workforce with dignity. Nayyab also stressed on usage of inclusive language: addressing all persons instead of men and women in discussions on the topic. Ms. Bilquis Tahira presented as research on older persons in Pakistan. She said very little research is available on older men and women and work in Pakistan, whereas no research is available for older transgender. She expressed her concerns for lack of legislative acknowledgement of older persons’ rights and lack of willingness of job sector to employ older peoples.

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