26 percent Pakistani women lost their jobs due coronavirus pandemic economic crisis lockdown, reveals data

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26 percent Pakistani women lost their jobs due coronavirus pandemic economic crisis lockdown, reveals data

ISLAMABAD: 26 percent Pakistani women lost their jobs due coronavirus pandemic economic crisis lockdown, reveals data survey conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).

FAFEN revealed that at least 26 per cent women were terminated or suspended from their jobs during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, ARY News reported on Friday.

The non-profit and non-governmental organisation, FAFEN, released a press statement on Labour Day regarding the unemployment of workers from their employers particularly women during the ongoing lockdown in wake of coronavirus pandemic.

The statement read that a survey of working women revealed 26 per cent of 904 respondents were terminated from their jobs after the announcement of the lockdown by the government.

Of the workers who lost their jobs, 14 per cent were permanently laid off while the services of the remaining 12 per cent were temporarily suspended. The factory workers had the highest ratio among those whose jobs were terminated.

15 per cent women who said their jobs were terminated were from Sindh respondents, and three per cent from Balochistan.

The survey was conducted in eight districts across the country including Faisalabad, Haripur, Lahore, Sialkot, Peshawar, Rahimyar Khan, Quetta, and Karachi between April 15-30.

The survey respondents included factory workers, salespersons, and employees of private schools, hospitals, and other commercial establishments.

Of the women interviewed, seven per cent were daily wage workers, 85 per cent were working on monthly wages and the remaining were paid on bi-monthly or weekly basis.

A majority of terminated workers up to 51 per cent were awaiting their dues to be cleared by their employers and the delays in payment of dues can further exacerbate the economic woes of the terminated workers.

Of the women who lost their jobs, more than three-quarter up to 78 per cent did not know whether they were registered with any social security organization, whereas, 13 per cent said they were registered with Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI). One per cent women said they were registered with Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and only 28 per cent women workers said that they were able to apply for support under the federal government’s emergency cash program.

Nearly half up to 49 per cent of the interviewed workers shared that no preventive measures were adopted at their workplaces since the onset of the pandemic.

FAFEN recommends the federal and provincial labour departments to keep a close vigil at workplaces to ensure the enforcement of the government’s directions and guidelines regarding preventive and safety measures for the workplaces.

The FAFEN has also urged the federal and provincial governments to take immediate actions to ensure that employers do not terminate or suspend the employment of workers, particularly women during the ongoing lockdown in the wake of COVID-19.