PAKISTAN – Gender Equity for Trade Unions by Labour Education Foundation (LEF) designed by Director Khalid Mahmood – facilitated by educators Shahnaz Iqbal and Nosheen Amjad

 

Introduction

This capacity building training was 3 days over 3 weeks, and was attended by 23 trade union members (15 men, 8 women) from 12 different organisations in Lahore. The course started with an introduction to LEF, IFWEA and the Online Labour Academy (OLA) and the worker education projects that took place in 2012 and 2014 in Pakistan.

The participants expected to learn about gender equality, gender roles, the situation of home based workers and rights of men and women. Most were also expecting that the training would equip them to work on intervening in gender discrimination in their homes and to work better in unions.

Gender equity in trade unions

The course covered these learning themes over the 3 days:

  • Definition and Difference between the Terms of Sex and Gender
  • Social Construction of Gender
  • Gender Roles and Stereotypes
  • Gender Discrimination
  • Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
  • Violence against Women
  • Situation Analysis of Home Based Workers
  • Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW)

Online Interactive Dialogue with Indian Academy for Self Employed Women (IASEW)

Khalid Mahmood reports: “On the third day of the training, an online interactive dialogue was arranged with IASEW in which the participants of the workshop shared their views and learning on gender equality with the researchers and trainers of IASEW. The IASEW director Ms. Namrata Bali was also present during this online session. The representatives of SEWA shared the situation in terms of gender issues in their country and the kind of trainings the academy provides on this subject. Participants found this online dialogue interesting, relevant and asked questions from each other to enhance their knowledge.”

Assessment

Participants shared that “Understanding the different between gender and sex was a new learning. The sessions were found to be pertinent in terms of understanding the situation of violations against women and the importance of developing strategies to eradicate existing discrimination.”

Personal reflection: Gender at home and at work

Khalid Mahmood shares: “… (M)ajority of them said that now they will be conscious to end the practice of discrimination at their homes, will inform other family members about this learning and will use gender lens wherever needed to promote the rights of women in family. In terms of using learning in their unions and federations, most of them said that they will work to increase the numbers of women in unions as members and will work with their other colleagues to bring women at decision making positions in unions.“

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