PESHAWAR: Besides looking after the household matters, women have proved their mettle in every walk of life and they are playing a crucial role in development of the country.
Women in Pakistan in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular are slowly and gradually gaining more opportunities and permission to work in different fields which is a good development. However, it is also a harsh reality that women still face a lot of workplace problems due to which they often quit the jobs or work under stressful and uncomfortable situations.
Keeping in view these difficulties of working women, a non-governmental organisation in Peshawar has set up Working Women Alliance to provide a platform to such women to discuss their problems and search solutions. The same organisation is also functional in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Islamabad. The Working Women Alliance has currency 40 members from government and private sectors. The members of the Alliance meet every month to discuss their problems and seek solution.
The Alliance has given its members an idea about their rights and also shown them the legal procedures to get justice in case of any problem. It also shares information about other organisations working for women’s rights. The members get awareness about kinds of harassment and also share useful information with other working women.
Many working women in our society are unaware about their rights, which is why they don’t raise voice for their rights. After joining the Alliance, I came to know that many organisations even don’t have the facility of separate washrooms or sitting place for women. However, I am lucky in a sense that my organisation provides these facilities to women and we are working here in a very healthy environment.
The working women not only face workplace problems, but they also face many difficulties from their families because they can’t devote much of their time for their families due to work burden. Very often, the working women even don’t have time for themselves and they start household work soon after arrival at home from their workplace.
The Women Working Alliance also holds meeting with different political leaders besides arranging monthly meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to persuades the policymakers to also include welfare of women in their manifesto. The members of the Alliance also need further mobilisation to create awareness among the working women about their rights.
Problems are everywhere, but it doesn’t mean that we should succumb to pressures and sit at home. We should fight for our rights and find solutions for all problems. Women shouldn’t waste their talent and they should come forward and contribute to development of the country.