Women's Rights are Workers' Rights

How can women’s and workers’ movements be brought together? Members of the network “Political Feminism in Asia” are to meet in Bangladesh to share thoughts on the topic.

Photo: Professor Vibhuti Patel

Photo: The FES Bangladesh team together with the film makers and Vibhuti Patel

How can women’s and workers’ movements be brought together? Members of the network “Political Feminism in Asia” are to meet in Bangladesh to share thoughts on the topic.

Progressive feminists from four Asian countries gathered in Dhaka on 7 April to discuss recent developments in the struggle against gender inequalities in their countries. Topics included the burden of unpaid care work, the role of trade unions amid the increase of informal labour, and maternity rights across the region.

Delegates from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Philippines were set to attend the event, part of the programme titled Political Feminism in Asia supported by the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES).

The programme is an Asia-wide gender-inclusive network of progressive feminists. Though the network, the project aims to identify how existing gender inequalities and power structures that sustain them can be deconstructed, using innovative approaches and alternative methods.

The event on 7 April were divided into two parts, the first consisted of two presentations, and the second of a video and panel-led discussion.

The first presentation was titled Feminist Perspectives on Care Work, and was given by Vibhuti Patel, economist and professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

The second presentation was 'How are trade unions transforming to take informal economy workers including paid care workers into their fold?', by Aliya Hashmi Khan, labour economist and member of the Economic Advisory Council of the prime minister of Pakistan.

Opening the next part of the programme was the launch of the video 'Ina, Maa, Ammi - Practices of Maternity Rights in Asia', a  short documentary on maternity rights in three Asian countries showcasing working mothers’ and activists’ experiences, struggles and challenges.

The film makers Farhat Parveen from Pakistan, Magnolia del Rosario from the Philippines and Mahmudul H Sumon from Bangladesh took part in a discussion panel, under the title Policy, practice and challenges in realizing maternity rights in Asia. Attending panellist included:

  • Taslima Akhter, President of the Bangladesh Garment Sromik Samhati
  • Khushi Kabir, Executive Director, Nijera Kari, Bangladesh
  • Jolly Talukder, General Secretary of the Garments Workers' Trade Union Centre, Bangladesh

Thank you to everybody who participated in the "Women's Rights are Workers' Rights" event in Dhaka.

For more details on the Future Labs and the Political Feminism project visit the dedicated page of the regional project Feminism in Asia.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Bangladesh Office

Dhaka, Bangladesh

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