International Women’s Day 2016

International Women’s Day round up

The ILO’s theme for International Women’s Day 2016 is “Getting to Equal by 2030: The Future is Now”, reflecting the urgency of addressing the gaps in order to achieve the U.N. 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The ILO office for Pakistan honoured this day with some excellent events on and around the big day of Tuesday 8 March.

Feature | 15 March 2016
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Empowerment through Vocational Training

The celebrations kicked off on 7th March with an event organized under the ILO project on Gender Equality for Decent Employment (GE4DE) funded by the Global Affairs of Canada (GAC). Certificates were distributed to 500 women who had successfully completed training in garment manufacturing, beauty and culinary skills. The event also marked the launch of School Business Enterprise, a unique initiative that provides workplace based hands on training to the trainees. The graduates proudly showcased their work at the event, while some took to stage to share their journey of success. The ceremony was attended by the team of ILO/GE4DE Project. 

Why Women Workers Rights Matter-Sindh Agriculture and Fishing Workers Union (SAFWU) Sindh District Hala

A festive, colourful and rich in culture event was organized in rural Sindh where over 500 women from agriculture sector gathered on this day to raise awareness on the rights of women workers’ with regards to unionization. The event was organized by the Sindh Agriculture and Fishing Workers Union (SAFWU), the first union of its kind in Pakistan, whose formation was facilitated by the ILO Project on Gender Equality for Decent Employment (GE4DE) funded by Global Affairs of Canada (GAC). A tableau was presented to reinforce the importance of unionization, while the workers grooved to the songs of women empowerment and patriotism.
The event also marked the first anniversary of the SAFWU. Mr Waqar Memon, General Secretary of the SAFWU and other local leaders addressed the gathering while Ms Munawar Sultana, OIC for the GE4DE Project represented the ILO at the event.

Investing in the Care Economy-Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF) , Islamabad

The Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF) commemorated the International Women Day on 8th March with a mega event that brought together over 300 participants comprising of 200 women representing16 of its affiliate members of the federation. The PWF is the largest federation in Pakistan representing over 600, 000 workers across Pakistan from both the formal and informal sectors of economy. In celebrating the event, PWF adopted the theme of its mother body federation i.e. International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Decent Work for Women and Men is a Trade Union priority and therefore investing in care makes economic sense. It also make sense from a social policy and Gender Equality perspective.

A new study released by the ITUC on March 8th 2016 shows that investment into the care economy using 2% of GDP in just 7 countries would create over 21 million jobs and help countries overcome the twin challenges of ageing populations and economic stagnation.

The PWF General Secretary Mr Zahoor Awan, and other leaders of the affiliate Trade unions addressed the gathering calling for the recognition of women as key contributors to the economy and the ratification of relevant International Labour Standards that facilitate the reduced gap in equality between men and women such as Convention 189 on Domestic Workers and Convention 177 on Homework. Ms Atifa Riffat, Joint Secretary, Ministry of the OPHRD, represented the Ministry while Ms Belinda Chanda, OIC for the ILO Chaired the session as the Chief Guest.

Chief guest at the event addressing the workers

See more photos on Pakistan in ILO Flickr photo library.