Sindh cabinet approves ‘Asia’s first’ agri workers’ bill to provide social security to women

Sindh cabinet gives go-ahead to the historic ‘Sindh Women Agricultural Workers Draft Bill-2019'

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Taking a significant and historic step in the country’s history and definitely an optimistic step forward towards eradicating gender barriers, Sindh cabinet gives a go-ahead to ‘Sindh Women Agricultural Workers Draft Bill-2019’. This agri workers’ bill is the first of its kind in entire Asia, and will enable women working in agriculture, livestock, fisheries, and other agro-based sectors to avail all rights given to workers and laborers of industrial and other sectors.

The meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at the New Sindh Secretariat this weekend. Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, all provincial ministers, advisers, including newly inducted Nisar Khuhro, Aijaz Shah Shirazi, and relevant officers were also part of the meeting discussing the matter.

“Over half of these women are reported as being unpaid family helpers,” CM Sindh said, adding that nearly two-thirds of the workers employed in the agriculture sector are women yet have no access to the facilities.

CM Saeed added that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto has emphasized on providing maximum facilities to female health workers. The bill was put forward by Sindh Labour Department in the cabinet and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani also briefed about its main constituents.

What does the Agri Workers’ Bill say?

The bill states that woman agricultural workers will now be paid in cash for any sort of agricultural work taken by them or as part of a family unit, livestock and on land that belongs to her family. The bill further states that men and women should be paid equally for the amount of labour they are performing regardless of gender.

“A woman worker shall receive a written contract of employment if she so demands. The new law also gives the right of woman worker of collective bargaining, social welfare, including child health, community development, economic profit and for accessing publicly supplied goods and services,” the bill states. 

How to register?

The government will register agricultural workers at the union council level. The women will be issues Benazir cards and the cardholders will be able to form groups and associations.

The Sindh government be setting up Benazir Women’s Support Organisation (BWSO) within the domain of labour department with an Endowment Fund, which will provide technical and financial help to all women workers.


Also See: ‘Government’s Ehsaas Program Will Lift 6m Women Out Of Poverty’

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