First Annual Convention of Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF), Pakistan

(11 April 2011, Art Council Auditorium, Karachi) 

It is historic event that the Home Based Women Workers Federation, Pakistan (HBWWF), registered is going to organize it 1st Annual Convention on 11 April 2011 at Pakistan Art Council Auditorium in Karachi. The representative from all parts of Pakistan will participate in the convention, to show their solidarity with HBWW of Pakistan representative of HBWW from India, Bangladesh and Nepal also take part in the event.


The convention is going to be held at the crucial time when capitalist globalization and the polices of WTO’s have been making unfavorable effect on labor class, especially on females workers in informal sector such as home based workers, in the form of high rate of unemployment, vulnerable working condition, no health and social security, low wage, long working hours and high rate violence in work process. Labour laws of the country do not recognize more than 20 million Informal and home-based women worker as workers. Majority of them are not organized and also less aware about their issues so they were not in the position to put their demands in front of the government and employers so forcefully till the formation of their federation.


The process of liberalization has also resulted in huge growth of informal sector and home based work which increased female work force’s participation in the production process. More than 75% women and children especially girl child are engaged with informal sector of the economy. The reason behind this is that women are less aware and unorganized in our society and cultural values, customs and religion halt the mobility of the women which gives benefits to the employer and investor to exploit women worker more in terms of paying fewer wage, without job security, long working hours and no access to social benefits such as health education and old age pension.              


Workers of home based sectors, like bangle industry, cropping work, stitching garment, carpet, zardozi, traditional embroidery work, pottery and sports industry etc, work for long hours and are paid less. This work causes serious hazards to health like joint, eye, back pain, lung problems, TB, skin allergy and diseases. Majority of them have no access to health facility.


To cope with the situation, class conscious home based women worker have started work with the assistance of sister organization like LEF, NTUF and HNP on two planks, one is to work in closed collaboration with organization working on HBW to make joint strategy for lobbying with related government department and legislation bodies to formulate law for the right of HBW and secondly organized the HBWW on union bases and connected it with mainstream trade union movement and the issues of HBWW incorporate in their agenda.


In the organizational process HBWWs have formed three unions one in Sindh and two in Baluchistan in following sectors

·         Traditional Embroidery and

·         Glass Bangle Industry.


HBWWs have been successful in their attempt to get registered unions in glass bangle and traditional embroidery sector because very peculiar situation which was favorable because of years of lobbying with contractors and investors of the sectors and also with concern government department. After formation of the unions, a process of federal level federation for HBWW had started and year ago Home Based Women Workers Federation, Pakistan  is formed and duly registered with  National Industrial Relation Commission (NIRC),Islamabad which is government body for registration of workers federations on national level.


HBWWF representing HBWW’s have been at the forefront of the struggle for the recognition of HBWW and their right to cover under social security, having old age benefits and access to other workers welfare schemes. At present HBWWF is the only registered body of HBW of Pakistan and all of its activities has been organized on voluntary basis and through collecting of fund and other fund raising mechanism. After completion of its one year HBWWF is going to organize its First Annual Convention in Karachi which coincides with celebration of 100 years of working women struggle. In this convention HBWW delegates representing HBWW unions, members of HBWWF, trade unions representative, provincial and federal legislators, government officials and human right organizations’ leaders have been invited to attend the important event. In this event emphasis will be made on to find the new ways to get recognize HBWW through legislation and mechanism to cover the HBWW under the existing social security networks and also chalk out the extensive plan for 2011 and 2012 to make HBWW Federation a sole representative of HBWW in Pakistan.


Objectives of the Convention:


  • Highlight  the issue of home based workers
  • National Policy (NP) on HBWW
  • Ratification of ILO Convention-177
  • Recognize HBWW as  worker and protection under the Labour Laws
  • Social Security for HBWW

You are cordially invited to participate in the convention




        Hearing the Unheard




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