Vast majority of jobless women workers in Sialkot lack skills, expertise, capacity and linkages prerequisite for having access to income generating alternatives. Neither they have information of the facilities that may impart training relevant to the market requirements nor do they have easy access to such facilities available in the city centre. Their access to such industrial and business set ups in local market that may provide jobs is also very limited. They also do not have information, skill, training, expertise, resources and linkages which may enable them set up their micro-enterprises to become own account employers.

Baidarie-Sialkot Women Wing (NGO) President Hina Noureen stated this while talking to the newsmen here on Monday. NGO's President Prof Arshad Mehmood Mirza was also present on the occasion.

She revealed that majority of the women workers, particularly the former stitchers in the formal and informal sectors are not aware of their basic rights, legally admissible social protection coverage and their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining etc. They also do not have vitally required information on the principles of occupational health and safety.

Hina Noureen narrated that keeping in view the immensity and intensity of the problem, the Baidarie Sialkot was taking steps to pace up the process of economic and social empowerment of the home-based women (HBWs) football stitchers already retrenched or at the risk of retrenchment. The organization is making efforts to increase access to target beneficiaries to viable economic options for easing their lives and for setting trends to be followed by those players in region who may desire or plan to contribute to the process of pulling out the workers out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

She disclosed that this NGO in collaboration with UN Women, International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) was making strenuous efforts for knowledge building, awareness raising and mobilization of target workers and relevant stakeholders.

She claimed that her organisation was in the process of developing a model for socioeconomic empowerment of 800 women workers and was blessed with the cooperation of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), local industry, trade bodies and the government departments and training institutes.