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Seminar on 'End Economic Exploitation & Violence against Domestic Workers': #16DaysOfActivism

In connection with 16 days of activism, a public seminar on the issue of “End Economic Exploitation and violence against women Domestic Workers” was conducted by Women in Struggle for Empowerment (WISE) at Lahore Press Club on 1st December 2023 (Thursday).

Women domestic workers and union members made significant presence, advocating for an end to economic exploitation and violence against domestic workers. They highlighted their problems in the seminar and demanded to stop sexual harassment against women and girls. Amna Afzal Program Manager WISE, shared data a total of 4329 cases of rape and 209 cases of gang rape were reported in Punjab. Quoting Punjab Gender Disparity Report 2022 she said in district Lahore alone, the number of cases were as high as 702.  197 women were killed in the name of honor in Punjab with highest number (16) of honor killings were reported from Faisalabad, she added.

On the occasion, Executive director of WISE, Bushra Khaliq shared that violence against women is not a women’s rights issue, but also a human rights issue. it affects women’s health and their ability to get education, work and to participate in social and political life, she added.

Bushra urged women to be united against the violence. She said that women must be given due respect and nobody can be allowed to use violence against woman. In our society women should be given equal rights in homes and outside homes as well.

She further added that violence including emotional exploitation, battering to wives or daughters is not a personal or private issue. It is a collective issue and violation of human rights.  Society could only be free from violence, if we do collective struggle, added Bushra.

Aima Mahmood, member Governing Body, PESSI and trade union leader, speaking on the occasion, she said that women are united against violence, now. She resolved to fight against any kind of violence in homes and at workplace. We need to stop violence for the protection of women, said Aima. Reference to the implementation of Punjab Domestic Workers Act 2019, she told that rules of business have been made by the Punjab Social Security Institution (PESSI) and DWs will get benefit from it accordingly. Women workers should be united for social protection so that they could get their due rights, she added.