ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Violence on Female Domestic Workers in Pakistan

Updated on February 23, 2018
  • What are the common types of domestic work in Pakistan?
  • What are the issues faced by domestic workers in Pakistan?
  • Can domestic workers form unions?
  • Is there any law in Pakistan, which governs domestic workers?
  • How does the national policy define home-based workers in Pakistan?
  • What are different provisions under this policy?
  • Reference Books

Female Domestic Workers

Source

Domestic work employs a large part of female workers. The two most common types are live-in and live-out domestic workers. Live-in domestic workers are those who reside in the house where they perform their work while live-out workers live outside their place of work. The other categories are full time, part time, child domestic labor(under the age of 14 years) and bonded/forced labor. According to an ILO study (2004), there are 264,000 child domestic workers in Pakistan. Most of these children are employed as bonded/forced laborers working under the debt bondage. These children or women are working to pay off the debt accrued by their parents or family members. As per ILO considerations, this type of domestic work, where a child is working under debt bondage, working for long hours, during the night and is unreasonably confined to the premises of an employer, is the worst form of child labor.

Domestic work is different from the care work performed by members of a household as part of a family responsibility and without creating an employment relationship.Domestic work includes (in a household or households)

Cleaning
Washing, ironing (clothes, dishes)
Ironing
Cooking (Chef)
Security guards (home)
Gardening
Driving (Chauffeur)
Child Care/Babysitting
Elder Care
Taking care of ill persons or persons with disabilities
Taking care of animals/pets etc.
Assistance in other household daily chores
Perform their work only occasionally or sporadically (such as part time baby sitters)
Perform the domestic work as a family responsibility (child care, elder care, etc.)

Workers employed for cleaning of public and private buildings and any other above mentioned activities are not domestic workers as domestic work is a household work and is usually performed within the boundaries of a house.

Issues

The domestic workers face the following issues.

  • Long and unlimited hours of work
  • Heavy workload
  • Lack of legal protection
  • Violence and abuse at work, either physical or psychological
  • Forced labor/child labor and trafficking of domestic workers
  • No minimum wage protection and low salaries
  • No labour inspection and law enforcement
  • Weaker collective bargaining position
  • Poor living quarters
  • Insufficient food
  • Lack of privacy

Union

In accordance with article 17 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, “every citizen has the right to form associations or unions, subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan, public order or morality”.

The first even union of domestic workers under the name of Domestic Workers’ Union has been registered in Lahore under the provisions of the Punjab Industrial Relations Act, 2010 (early 2015). This Union currently has 235 members out of which 225 are female domestic workers.

HRCP moot demands better conditions for women workers

Karachi, December 29,2014

There was a pressing need for greater awareness of working women’s rights, ensuring equal pay for equal work irrespective of gender and recognition of women’s contribution to society and the national economy, a consultation organized by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in Karachi on Monday concluded.

Participants of the consultation on ‘women’s wages and employment’ called upon the government to recognize home-based workers (HBW) and domestic workers as labour so that the cover of social security could be extended to them. The participants in the deliberations said that the informal sector contributed 35 percent to the national economy and employed millions of workers, especially women. It was thus a matter of grave concern that these workers could neither unionize nor demand minimum wage or claim any of the other entitlements available to workers under Pakistan’s law and the country’s international human rights commitments.

Khalida Ghous, a prominent human rights activist, presented a paper on employment trends, gender-based discrimination and exploitation and the wage gap between men and women engaged in identical or substantially similar work. Zehra Ali, senior office-bearer of a federation of domestic workers’ organizations, focused on HBWs and domestic workers, stating that in arriving at a coherent policy for these workers a particular difficulty had been agreeing on a uniform minimum wage because of the diverse nature of their work, particularly since HBWs were skilled workers. Social worker Dr Sajjad Ahmed made a presentation about occupational hazards and other health concerns for working women and the various issues regarding maternity leave. An exhaustive presentation on labour laws by Farhat Parween, civil society activist, highlighted the importance of collective bargaining for women workers.

The participants included a large number of women workers, students, social activists, female doctors, civil society organization representatives.

Domestic work is part of the huge informal sector (around 73% of total Pakistani economy, as indicated by official sources) and thus the existing labor laws are not applicable to this sector. Provincial Employees Social Security Ordinance governs the domestic workers rights.

There are no clear estimates of the total number of domestic workers in the country, however, according to a study, every fourth household in the country hires domestic worker and majority of these workers is females (especially children). Moreover, according to an ILO Study, around 4-10% of total employment in developing countries is in the domestic work sector.

The labor laws mention domestic workers only twice. The Provincial Employees Social Security Ordinance 1965 requires an employer to provide health care (including maternity care) to the full time domestic workers (Section 55-A). The Minimum Wages Act of 1961 also includes domestic workers in the definition of workers however government has not notified the minimum wages as applicable to these workers under this law. There are no laws for home-based workers in Pakistan and the country has also not ratified the ILO Convention C177.

The first bill on domestic workers are drafted and presented in Senate in 2013. The Bill is still under discussion by the relevant Senate Committee. The Bill aims to protect the rights of the domestic workers, to regulate their employment and conditions of service and to provide them social security, safety, health facility and welfare. It provides domestic workers with all those rights available to other formal sector workers and creates a special domestic workers welfare fund.

What is the Behavior of your Maid/Female domestic worker with you?

See results

Are you Happy with your maid's work?

See results

According to the National Policy, a home-based worker is:


  • A person who works within the home boundaries, or in any other premises of his/her choice, but excluding the premises of the employer’s or contractor’s workplace;
  • a person who works at home for remuneration or monetary returns;
  • a person who is self-employed or does piece-rate, own-account, or contract work, which results in a product or services as specified by the employer/contractor

The definition, used in national policy, is more comprehensive one than used earlier in ILO Convention, which covers only one category of home-based workers i.e., home workers.

The national policy provides that home-based workers will have


  • Equal treatment in wages and a minimum wage would be set
  • Skills training, provided by the government
  • Access to credit, land ownership and other assets
  • Freedom of association and collective bargaining
  • Right to safe work place
  • Social security benefits
  • Right to registration as home-based workers

© 2017 Hamza Mumtaz

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)