In Pakistan more than 80% (unofficial data) workers are employed in the informal sector, out of this majority of women and their girl child engaged with the home based work, usually piece rate workers, based in sectors like garment and textile, bangle industry, sack stitching, carpet weaving, packing, hanger making, cotton filling, sorting, cutting, jewelry, shoe making, incent making, toys and sport goods, rally making etc. informal sector’s work contribution in country’s economy is huge but this is also fact that government negated these workers from the welfare and laws.
Home based workers are the unprotected worker due to non-visible and unregulated work. They work in very poor conditions that include repetitive & hazardous work, long hours from 14 to 16 hours and getting low wages for work done. They lack access and knowledge of the market, are lowest in the production chain and suffer exploitation by middlemen who pay late for the work done and in some cases does not pay at all. Their bargaining power and organizing abilities are weak, so that women’s chances of empowering themselves are also become low.
Zehra Akber Khan
General Secretary of HBWWF