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Social partners in Pakistan strategise for the ratification of C190

As part of the Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF) and International Trade union Confederation's Joint National Campaign for the Ratification of C190 and Piloting a Redressal Mechanism for GBV in the Workplace in Pakistan, a high-level meeting was organised by PWF in collaboration with the government of the Punjab Labour and Human Resources Department. The meeting was chaired by the honorable Secretary of Labour and Human Resource Department, Dr. Javed Ahmed Qazi and attended by the representatives of the Employers' Federation of Pakistan (EFP), Workers- Employers Bilateral Council of Pakistan, employers of the local Adidas sourcing factory, Forward Gear Pvt Ltd, the secretaries from the eight relevant ministries of the government, and representative of the ILO Pakistan Office.

Sister Dur e Shehwar, Vice-President of PWF and the PWF focal person on C190 urged everyone to build synergies for the National Ratification of C190. She also explained the definition of the world of work explaining the scope of the convention.

Meanwhile, Mr Saghir Bukhari from ILO gave detailed presentation on ILO's global mandate to end violence and harassment in the world of work. He explained that the Convention is a binding international treaty, creating obligations for ratifying States to provide every woman the right to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence (GBV) and harassment. "This is a historic opportunity to shape a future of work based on dignity and respect," he said.

Complementing Mr Bukhari, M Zahoor Awan shared the history of the Convention and the long struggle that trade union did for the adoption of the C190 and its importance of coming on the ILO centenary.

Ch Nasim Iqbal, PWF President, spoke on the existing laws supporting the C190. "Raising awareness on the C190 is key in pushing for its ratification. This can be supplemented by the mapping of the existing laws related to eliminating violence in the workplace," he said.

Mr. Khawaja Javaid, Director of the Forward Gear Pvt Ltd., supported the PWF campaign and stance for the ratification of C190. He said that being the sourcing factory of the Adidas or any brand, they are committed to support the C190 ratification. In their work with multinational brands, certain obligations regarding safe workplace for women are being promoted, he shared.

Malik Tahir Javaid, representative of EFP, expressed his support for the ratification of C190, saying that this should have been done long ago.

To conclude the meeting, the Secretary of Labour listed the following ways forward to push for the ratification of C190:

  • Continue strategic meetings with stakeholders

  • Analyse the gaps in existing laws to help pave the way for the ratification of C190

  • Continue the tripartite model that can work on ratification of C190 and redressal

  • Build better awareness and understanding of ILO C190 and broader GBV issues through various formats, channels, and platforms

  • Build trade unions capacity to address GBV at work

  • Enhance knowledge building and sharing of resources on crucial GBV issues

  • Increase social dialogue and trainings

  • Develop information, education, and communication materials on C190 in Urdu, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi languages.

  • Develop mobile application for the complaint registration on violence and harassment

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