Lady Health Workers Protesting at Red Zone

With tensions and protests rising in the country, lady health workers in Pakistan are protesting near Red Zone for equal rights and pay.

On Wednesday, 14th October, Lady health workers along with thousands of other government employees decided on protesting for their salaries, pay structures, and scale at Express Chowk. However, because of little to no attention or response by the government- many of those workers left the site and retreated, the lady health workers remained protesting.

The lady health workers refused to leave their positions until their demands were met. While the government has tried every tactic by switching off streetlights, stripping the protestors of drinking and eating facilities leaving them to sit alone on the street in the dark with no food and drinks. As well as no access to proper sanitation facilities in an attempt to break the lady health workers from protesting.

President of the National Programme Health Employees Federation Rukhsana Anwar, further explained that the workers had to go to a nearby petrol station to use the toilets. Although, the management at the fuel station has now refused to let the lady health workers use their toilets as they say that the government has instructed them to do so.

Leaders from the Young Doctors Association visited D-Chowk on Friday in solidarity with the lady health workers who were protesting. Dr. Salman Haseeb urged that their demands must be met, he further says that it is inhumane of the government to treat the daughters of the country in such away. They had entered the second day of the protest with extreme difficulty as the government has suspended water supply and electricity.

To show support, Dr. Haseeb also said that doctors from two provinces were also in the capital and would join the lady health workers who are protesting if they are harmed in any way.

The lady health workers that have been protesting have issued a 10-point agenda of demands, which includes the restoration of the National Programme of Family Planning in its original condition, and that all employees should be given equal bonuses and all the provinces should receive equal pay.

They stated that it was unfair that the salary for lady health workers in Sindh is Rs. 35,000, while lady health workers in Punjab are paid Rs. 20,000. They demand the building of a service structure for all employees and service rules.

They have demanded that the services of the national programs should be counted, all lady health workers and lady health representatives should be regularized, retired employees should be given pensions, the union should be restored, victimization and retaliatory action stopped and redundant colleagues reinstated immediately. Moreover, security must also be provided to all employees of the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme during polio vaccination campaigns.

PPP was quick to take up this opportunity to highlight the wrongs of the government and has extended its support to the lady health
workers who are protesting at Red Zone.

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