KATHMANDU, Nov 2: Five different groups of women home-based workers in the Kathmandu Valley have sought the government's help to market their products.
Pathivara Grihashsramik Mahila Samuha of Pathibhara, Kathmandu; Jagritinagar Grihashramik Mahila Samuha of Jagritinagar, Kathmandu; and Ramhiti Grihashramik Mahila Samuha of Bauddha, Kathmandu; Ujjwal Manohara Grihashramik Mahila Samuha of Bhaktapur; and Paribartansheel Grihashsramik Mahila Samuha of Godavari, Lalitpur on Wednesday handed over a joint memorandum to the Minister for Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, Ambika Basnet, demanding needful government help so that their products fetch good price.
Speaking at an interaction organized to mark 18th International Home-based Worker's Day in Kathmandu on Wednesday, Dil Kumari Gurung said that women home-based workers were facing difficulty in finding market for their products. Gurung, who represents Pathivara Grihashsramik Mahila Samuha, has been producing different varieties of products like pickle, and key rings and beads out of milk pouches.
The program was organized by Sathi - a non-governmental organization which has been helping women, home-based workers. It has already built a network of 700 such women.
The women workers, among others, have demanded due recognition of their works as well as safeguarding of their fundamental rights as mentioned in C177 of ILO Convention. They also drew Minister Basnet's attention toward unstable house rent, and also requested her to control middlemen who take a lion's share of their income. These middlemen provide raw materials and ask home-based women workers to produce variety of goods by paying very nominal wage.
According to Nepal Labor Force survey of 2008, there are around 2.2 million home workers in Nepal.
Speaking at the program, Minister Basnet said it was unfortunate that our society has still not recognized contribution of women and limited them to unpaid household chores. “Paid works are dominated by men,” Basnet said, assuring the home-based workers that the government would take needful initiative to help them.
Similarly, Prabha Pokhrel, who is working for well-being of home-based workers, said that the contribution of home-based workers is not counted in the country's Gross Domestic Product. “Counting contribution of home-based workers is important in this age of global value chain which has transferred works up to home workers,” she added.