LAHORE: Making a large percentage of the informal workforce in Pakistan’s economy, home-based workers are not only caught in an exploitative cycle of unregulated labour but their work is also now severely affected by power cuts.
At the mercy of their contractor, Shumaila Imran and two other women of her family struggle to stitch the upper part of shoes for rupees four to five per pair.
Shumaila is the wife of a daily wager who suffers from Hepaptitis B and he can hardly work in the summer. The women of the family try to make ends meet by stitching shoes, and one of them also works at a factory on minimum wage.
Many women in Shumaila’s neighbourhood in Kot Lakhpat, Lahore stitch shoes to help their families get by.
According to the findings of a non-profit organisation, there were three million home based women labourers in urban Pakistan in 2010. As their numbers keep growing, so does the exploitation.
Shumaila and others like her are the invisible faces who chose not to riot, but continue to struggle silently.
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