Women Action for Better Workplace (WACTION) Phase 1

Duration: 2016 to 2018

Goal: Increased enjoyment of rights and improved working environments by women workers in Pakistan

Around 48% of the total population are women, of which only 14.53% are employed in formal and informal sectors Of the 14.53% employed women, around 67% are working in agriculture sector, 16% in industries and 15% in services sector Women face challenges such as Gender Based Discriminations, Domestic Restrictions, Harassment at Work Places, Lower Pay-Scales, Negative Attitudes, Unconducive Policies at Workplaces, etc. Available legislative resources remain untapped or under-utilized because of women’s low status within their employing institutions and state apparatus is not proactive in enforcement of laws organizations representing working women are few in number and lack capacity in negotiating with policy- and decision-makers Women employees in formal sectors are neither organized nor represented in male-dominated employee organizations Over the years, Pakistan has witnessed a gradual rise in the officially- measured economic participation of women in the workforce; however, little attention has been given to address the challenges faced by working women.


1. Enhancing capacities of Women Workers and their alliances to negotiate and advocate with employers, policy-makers, and legislators for legislative and administrative improvements in working conditions.

2. Parliament and Provincial Assemblies take up recommendations towards the improved legislative framework for safe workplaces and use and enforcement of existing policies and laws to protect women’s rights as workers.

3. Greater awareness and action among women workers, their employers and the public about the rights of women workers and changes necessary to create a more enabling.


• Facilitated formation of the WWAs 6000 members to in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Islamabad and Peshawar to advocate and negotiate for better workplaces.

• First-Ever Gender Audit of 130 Federal and Provincial Labor Laws with tangible Recommendations for Reforms.

• Various agenda items submitted and introduced in the legislature including the Resolution for Federal Framework Labor Law in Senate Over 300 instances of improvements registered with varying degree of action by employers due to advocacy efforts.

• Formation of anti-harassment committees, day-care centers, separate washrooms, display of minimum wages and anti-harassment law.

• Labor department issued notification to private schools to ensure the minimum wages for female teachers in Quetta and Peshawar.

• Passage of Sindh Maternity Benefits Act 2018 extending maternity from 90 to 120 days.