Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, former President of Mongolia and member of the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid (WLA – CdM), led a mission to Lahore (Pakistan) on October 30th and 31st to advocate for the improvement of labour rights for women working in Punjab’s agricultural sector.
Elbegdorj, who was also a Prime Minister in Mongolia, supported the efforts of NGOs and other civil society groups working towards better labour rights for women. The mission to Pakistan took place in the framework of the EU-funded INSPIRED+ project, implemented by WLA – CdM and with the help of the Aurat Foundation. The latter is a committed to creating widespread awareness and commitment for a just, democratic and caring society in Pakistan.
Concerns of civil society leaders, such as the Aurat Foundation, were included in a Roadmap for Reform, a policy document meant to be a blueprint for progress in the area of labour rights improvements and social protections. By means of a Participatory Policy Assessment, which was held on October 30th in Lahore, the Aurat Foundation and other civil society representatives established policy recommendations for the socio-economic rights of women working in agriculture. Member of WLA – CdM, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, delivered a keynote address at the Launching Ceremony of the Participatory Policy Assessment Report.
After receiving the recommendations from civil society, President Elbegdorj met Governor of Punjab, Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, to examine the importance of local governance in strengthening the labor rights of female agricultural workers . Likewise, the Member of the WLA-CdM presented these findings to Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, current Speaker of the Provincial Assembly and Ashifa Riaz Fatyana, Punjab Minister for Women Development.
Women working in the agricultural sector suffer inequality
Women working in the agricultural sector face unequal access to nutrition, asset ownership and prenatal and postnatal care, as well as unequal opportunities in receiving an education and a fair income. Only 17% of women in the Punjab region own a land and if they do, not a single woman owns more than 50 acres.
Additionally, land titling faces legal problems which tie up a large proportion of the rural population in long litigation processes, which condemn people to unproductive activities. This particularity leads to disempowerment and reduced access to justice, credit, technology, services, and more.
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