KARACHI - Police restored to baton charge and used water cannon to restrict angry Port Qasim dock workers when they tried to march towards Governor House on Sunday.

However, after denial of entry at the street of Governor’s House, the dock workers ended the demonstration after quite some time and got back to demonstration camps that had been established at Karachi Press Club since last three months.

Speaking to journalists on this occasion, General Secretary of the Workers Union of Port Qasim CBA Hussain Badshah demanded that government should accept their demands. Pending salaries of five months of dock workers should be paid; their identity cards be issued without any further delay and Dock Workers Act 1974 be implemented in letter in spirit at Port Qasim, he urged.

Meanwhile, Home-based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) staged a big protest demo in front of the KPC in connection with the international day against women violence, which was attended by a large number of home-based women workers, as well as, women workers related to different industries. It was led by HBWWF central general secretary Zahra Akbar Khan.

On the occasion, the speakers said the number of women workers in Pakistan has been rising for last many years. According to a report International Labor Organization (ILO), the number of women workers in garment sector alone has risen by 33prcent. However, sadly the women workers are also facing violence and discriminatory attitude, which is affecting their social and economic life. In Pakistan, the gender-based violence is a reality, and society overall justifies it on the basis of traditions, culture, beliefs and morality.

Occurrence of these incidents is increasing rapidly and no practical steps are seen to end this menace. Though the national assembly had passed a Bill against harassment of women at workplace in 2010 but its practical implementation is yet to be seen. Today, maltreatment of women at workplaces is still in vague and not only this but also the women workers are given less wages as compared to male workers. Mostly women workers work under contractor system and hence they are deprived of all legal and constitutional rights, which they deserve in capacity of worker.

The speakers said as work is being shifted from formal to informal sector, hence working women are kept further away from realization of their legal and constitutional rights and they cannot knock the door of court. There is no law to govern their wages. Their wages are determined by the contractors and middle men at their sweet will, and when they demand increase in their wages, they are threatened to be sacked.