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​Rights and dignity for women workers in Pakistan

Guaranteeing health-care assistance, the protection and safety of women workers; adopting a code of conduct that safeguards women from injustice and abuse; creating for them a secure work environment, free from harassment, abuse and intimidation; guaranteeing workers maternity leave: these were the requests formulated to the Pakistani Government by the associations that promote women’s rights in this Asian country on the occasion of the National Women’s Day, held on 12 February at Faisalabad. The event in which women of different communities and religions took part was organized by the Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM) in collaboration with other NGOs. Zarfishan Nasir, a women’s rights activist, told Fides that the Day, announced to commemorate the campaign started by a group of women who raised their voices against the policies and legislation imposed by the dictator Zia-ul-Haq, suffering harsh consequences for doing so, marked “a milestone in the history of the women’s movement in Pakistan”. Nazia Sardar, Director of AWAM, therefore recalled “it is urgent to guarantee equal pay and to institute maternity leave and nurseries in work places”. Finally, according to Shazia George, a Christian activist, “it is necessary to embark on actions of sensitization for the promotion of women’s rights. And to implementnational and international instruments to protect the rights of women workers”.

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