PAKISTAN: IWD celebrated in Lahore

Issue 

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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