When: March 8 2018
Where: Hyderabad, Pakistan
"Celebrating International Women’s Day 2018"
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum and Oxfam (GROW) - Hyderabad
Socio-economic and political status of rural women stands low in all around the world despite they work harder than man to produce food for the world. Women comprise, in average, 43 percent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries. However, they remain less fed in the world. A wide range of issues are being faced by women leaving them exposed to poverty and hunger. Two most significant issues which rank high in this regard include climate change and food insecurity. According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), almost 70 % of the world’s poor are women, and climate change is pushing them further below the poverty line.
In Pakistan too, rural women's life is full of agonies. In Pakistan, 98.8pc of women from the poorest rural households are poor compared to 29.3pc of the richest urban dwellers.[i] In 2015-16 livestock contributed 58.55 of the overall agricultural contribution to Pakistan’s GDP. Women constitute almost 49 percent of the population of Pakistan. This complicates the situation, as socioeconomic and political barriers, cultural norms and ignorance infringe the capacity of rural women to cope with such challenges.
More than 500,000 cotton-picking workers are involved in the business In Sindh.[ii] Due to their lower social status, women are more vulnerable to adverse effects of climate change. The women whose routine work is to travel long distances working extremely hard in heat and cold, picking up cottons, cutting the fodder for the animal, fetching water far from the wells infringes the ability of the women to cope with these high level challenges. [iii] Women have hit hard by climate change.
According to the World Bank Data of 2016 almost one fifth of the females (22.2%), aged 15 and above is active in the labor force in Pakistan. This data include Sindh's part too. A rural woman's day starts with the dawn and ends at dusk. Traditionally, cotton picking is exclusively a female activity. According to the labour survey, 89 per cent of women are engaged in this activity.[iv]
However, when women’s empowerment is denied, it makes them weak and vulnerable, even to the slightest of changes. The global phenomenon of climate change, which has made the population of Sindh and other parts of Pakistan vulnerable to floods, cyclones, glacial lakes outburst floods (GLOFs), cloudbursts, reduced food supply, sea intrusion and water scarcity, has gender differentiated impacts.
Rally on March 8, 2018: Celebrating International Women’s Day:
International Women’s Day is marked on March 8 every year realize and celebrate the struggle of women in all settings, rural and urban along with celebrating the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.
Taking into consideration the above mentioned situation with regards to the status of in Sindh and Pakistan women, PFF would like to organize rally to mark the International Woman’s Day 2018 under the international theme “PressforProgress” on March 8, 2018 in Hyderabad. The participants of the rally would majorly include the rural women from fishing and peasant community from Karachi, Thatta, Badin, Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Sanghar and other districts of interior Sindh. Others would include civil society members, senior citizens, NGOs, government officials, academia and media.
Women We have Forgotten: We will be inviting the women that we have identified in the rural areas as women leaders and activists during the past 4 years in 6 districts of Sindh in the women day rally and present them with award or souvenir. This gesture would make them proud of their contribution in society and would further motivate them to keep up the good work.
Venue & Date: The rally will start from Shahbaz Building at 11:00 am and culminate outside of Hyderabada Press Club on March 8, 2018.