Sewa Development Trust Sindh implemented sub-grant under the USAID supported Gender Equity Program-GEP for cycle-7, awarded by Aurat Foundation, under the project titled: Enhancing Women Workers’ Awareness of Their Rights and Labor Laws, for district Sukkur.
The project is designed to empower women workers by enhancing their knowledge of their labor rights and organizing them into groups in District Sukkur. Through these initiatives women working in the formal and informal sectors will be brought together on one-platform, in this context women workers groups would be enabled to expand their networks, be mobilized to rely their rights, demand gender sensitive work environments and witness an enhancement in their incomes through improved access to markets and better wages.
Sewa Development Trust Sindh designed and implemented an advocacy campaign in Sukkur by organizing women workers into groups and enhanced knowledge to their labor rights. This includes engagements with women workers from both the formal as well as the informal sector.
SDTS engaged with HomeNet Pakistan and project staff got Training of Trainers (TOT) by HomeNet Pakistan, the SDTS used TOT manual to train women workers in district Sukur to effectively raise awareness and understanding of labor rights
Gender is one of the main organizing principles in Pakistani society. An artificial divide between the roles of production and reproduction, created by the ideology of sexual division of labor, has placed women in reproductive roles as mothers and wives in the private arena of the home and men in a productive roles as breadwinners in the public arena. This has further led to a low level of resources investment in women by the family and the state. A reduced investment in women’s human capital, compounded by the ideology of negative social biases, has led to lesser numbers of women participating in the labor/workers force. Furthermore, figures from labor surveys do not take into account women’s participation in the informal and agricultural sectors of the economy- where they dominate in numbers. Women’s economic contribution is therefore neither acknowledged, nor documented.
Through project initiative women workers from both sectors formal and informal brought together on one-platform an innovative mechanism for their collective engagement. The SDTS conducted a mapping exercise at sub grant inception to ensure the district level context is sufficiently reflected in the selection of women workers groups. Specific sub-categories within the two sectors where women workers participate were targeted and geographical spread of the workshop would correlate with the workingwomen population split in the target district.
The prime outcome of this project was a mobilized and capacitated District Sukkur women workers and establishment of an active Women Worker Leaders group (WWL). An increased level of workers individual awareness on their rights and an active WWL connected to provincial and national networks ensure the continuation of the advocacy momentum facilitated by GEP. Moreover, the creation of downward linkages (from trained WWL to their constituencies of influence) and upward linkages (with provincial and national platforms) will be instrumental in the articulation and setting forth of real grassroots policy demands and continued advocacy and sensitization at all levels..
• Context analysis of the select women workers groups conducted, based upon district-level scenario in Sukkur
• 5 training workshops each for three days for women workers (25 to 30 in each workshop)
• One two-day leadership training for WWL.
• 5 roll out activities conducted by WWL with respective women workers group
• 3 women worker conventions.
• 5 district-level women workers meeting for network formation and facilitation of their onward coordination with trade unions.
• Employers (from each formal sector) engage through 3 orientation sessions to build their understanding on sexual harassment act and women friendly HR policies
• IEC Design/formats shared by Home Net are printed and disseminated
• 6 month long radio campaign in Sukkur
• Linkage development with district labor department through 2 orientation sessions
• Linkage between women workers and forums and the provincial department of labor established
• Participation at four collaborative meetings organized by Home Net, including the grants opening at project inception and grant closing at grant project close out
Following are the of achievements of project:
• Contextual Analysis: SDTS undertook a context analysis of the district Sukkur to map the prevailing circumstances of women workers, their participation in the formal and informal sectors, and an overarching analysis of the situation of the implementation of workers/labor laws.
• SDTS arranged (3) three trainings workshops, of three days duration, catering 30 women workers each time, total 90 women workers trained and got certification, through the course of these trainings, 3 women worker leaders (WWL) identified through selection criteria. SDTS has developed training manual to conduct trainings.
• IEC Material: SDTS printed/published four Posters and three booklets in coordination with HNP and disseminated with stakeholders.
• Engagement with District labour Department. SDTS organized one Session with District Labour Department Sukkur. Mr. Ghulam Sarwar Utero (Deputy Director Labour Department Sukkur) participated with his district Labour Officers.
• Engagement with employers on Sexual Harassment Act. SDTS conducted one Orientation Session with the employers of formal and informal sector of District Sukkur held in the month of November 7th 2015. Total 35 employers participated in the session.
• Radio campaign: SDTS launched one-month radio campaign in the Sukkur. A MoU signed with the M/S Voices Pvt Ltd, @ Jeay FM 88.8 Sukkur to on-air the public service messages, for the period of one month from 22nd March 2016 to 20th April 2016.
• Field mobility: SDTS field staff visits regularly for the coordination building and for project activity planning and conduction. Project team held approximately 109 field visits during the tenure of project.