BY TARIQ SHAHZAD
LAHORE Hundreds of women and men paid five rupees each to participate in a March 6 festival to commemorate International Women's Day, organised by the Women Workers Help Line.
This was the third year that this event had taken place. The Labour Party Pakistan organised the event in 2000 and 2001.
Addressing participants, Romana Shabnum, a member of the Lahore Aziz Bhatti town council, explained that IWD is a day to remember the heroic struggle of women to demand the right to vote and to participate in political associations.
Azra Shad, the chairperson of Women Workers Help Line, spoke of the struggle of peasant women for the right to own land.
Rahila Zareen, joint secretary of the Pakistan Federation of Trade Unions and a member of Labour Party Pakistan, told the gathering that our own independent associations and unions were the only guarantee for the protection of the rights women have won so far. She said WWHL had become the most vocal and fighting voice of working-class women.
From Green Left Weekly, March 13, 2002.
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