Tasleem Akhtar takes lead after Samaj Development Organization’s training
Ms. Tasleem Akhtar, a widow with two children, lives in Chak 72/NP Rahim Yar Khan. She worked as a saleswoman in Karam Food Company and now works at an insurance company by the name Jubilee Insurance.
When the Samaj Development Foundation constituted a group of working women under its Enhancing Women Workers Access to Market (EWAM) project, Tasneem Akhtar participated in the group’s monthly meetings. She attended the training session on labor laws, monitoring of workplaces and entitlements after which she acquired communication skills which led her to become a confident working woman.
After these sessions, Ms. Akhtar realized the need for an anti-harassment committee at workplaces so that the women workers may work effectively with a peace of mind.
Ms. Tasleem Akhtar was motivated enough to mobilize her co-workers around the importance and need of anti-harassment committee at workplace. She told them that there are some legal grounds and policies of the Government of Pakistan which bound the workplaces owners to provide a safe environment to women workers. The mobilized co-workers started negotiations with their immediate supervisor and branch manager in order to form an anti-harassment committee at the workplace. They met with their branch manager along with the supervisor and discussed the legal requirements for a standard workplace especially related with a protected and safe environment for working. In the first meeting, the branch manager agreed with his team and asked them to nominate three members with at least one female for constitution of an anti-harassment committee.
Having gained confidence, Ms. Tasleem Akhtar consulted with her co-workers and selected two male and one female member for constitution of the anti-harassment committee. Finally, a three-member body of an anti-harassment committee was formed and then notified by the branch manager.
This story depicts successes of learning, trainings for working women. If the women take interest and convince their workplaces’ owners, they can get legal benefits and protection.
Tasleem expressed her gratitude and stated, “I am deeply grateful to the Samaj Development Foundation for this progress. I have got communication skills and knowledge from the meetings and trainings conducted by the Samaj Development Organization. I feel honored that I was the main motivator for co-workers after which an anti-harassment committee was formed leading to a secure and protected environment.”
As a committed lady, Ms. Tasleem Akhtar is now an active member of Women Workers’ Alliance (WWA). She remains available for project advocacy activities, consultation and meetings.