Vigilance committees demanded to stop violence against women

KARACHI – On the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Home-Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) and the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) on Saturday demanded the constitution of vigilance committees at all workplaces to stop violence against women.

The demand was made at a meeting of office-bearers of both the organisations, convened on the call given by Industrial ALL Global Union, which has initiated a campaign against violence against women at workplaces worldwide. HBWWF and NTUF officials discussed the issues faced by women workers at their workplaces and showed their solidarity with all women of the world on the day. During the meeting, representatives of HBWWF and NTUF said that the ongoing violence against women seriously impacted women workers around the globe.

Violence against women is a violation of women’s rights and an obstacle to gender equality, especially in Pakistan. Violence against women at work is a core trade union issue affecting workers’ rights, safety, health, and dignity, they concurred.

They further agreed that unions should give priority to raising the issues confronting women at their workplaces and take the necessary steps to prevent women workers from all kinds of violence by conducting awareness sessions.

They further said that in order to stop violence against women, all unions would have to take a public stance against it and would have to condemn all attitudes and actions that perpetuated sexism and violence in the society.

They reiterated that all forms of violence against women were unacceptable, and the vice should be eliminated from the society to protect women.

On the occasion, HBWWF and NTUF demanded that the government enact and enforce laws to protect women from violence and harassment and ask all employers and managements to form committees to safeguard women from harassment and violence. They also called for encouraging employers to develop policies to eliminate all forms of violence against women at their offices’ premises.

They decided to organise consultation with formal and informal women workers to chalk out the plan to eradicate violence against women workers and provide a safe environment to them.

‘Governments, states

also involved in violence’

Meanwhile, Aafia Movement Pakistan leader Dr Fowzia Siddiqui has said violence against women is a global phenomenon and not only individuals, but the governments and states are also involved in this practice. She added Pakistani mother Dr Aafia Siddiqui was a textbook example of this violence.

In a statement issued on the eve of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, she said due to the apathy of rulers and the government officials, 5355 days of Aafia in illegal detention and violence had already passed.

She said the day was observed in the whole world to support the female victims of violence, but serious efforts are not taken at government level to stop this violence, save lip service.

She said now the eyewitnesses of violence against Aafia had broken their silence in many countries of the world. Fowzia suggested that the United Nations should provide all victims of violence, including Dr Aafia Siddiqui, immediate relief.

She further said that daughter of the Pakistani nation was waiting for the United Nations to dole her out justice. “Pakistani mother is innocent, but still she has braved a long jail term which is equal to life imprisonment,” she said, and added human rights activists and civil societies were raising voice for Aafia in the whole world, but there was deafening silence at government and state levels.

She reminded that last year on the same day, Aafia Movement Pakistan had warned the then prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif that if he failed to dole out justice to Aafia, Allah, the Almighty, may give power to some other ruler who may do justice to the innocent Pakistani mother. She said still the PML-N’s government was ruling the country. “We appeal to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to use the platform of the UN for the early repatriation of Aafia,” she concluded.

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