2nd May 2017
Mediothek Afghanistan main office in Kabul with the generous financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and in collaboration with UNAWE organized a splendid event to mark the International Worker’s Day (1 May) in Kabul.
About one hundred participants including representatives of Kabul based labor organizations and unions, representatives of the National Union of Afghanistan's Workers and Employees (UNAWE), civil society representatives, journalists, representatives of labor and social affairs ministry, youth and student, both male and female, workers’ rights advocates and workers participated in the event.
1st of May is celebrated across the world as the internationally recognized day of workers and labors through various programs and events. However, the situation for workers is not ideal across the globe, especially in Afghanistan, and workers in all continents still struggle to make ends meet. While workers’ role in societies is tremendously important but their incomes from the work they do not suffice for a decent living.
Participants and experts discussed the challenges and problems of workers in both private and non-private sectors in Afghanistan, arguing that unemployment is unacceptably high, especially among young people, and young people are forced to flee their country because of widespread insecurity and lack of employment opportunities in their home country.
“We are celebrating workers day at a time that the number of unemployed workers increase due to insecurity and negligence and inattention on the part of government and institutions responsible for creating jobs and works, therefore it is incumbent on the government to send the lobar law for approval to the parliament” said, Mr. Abdullah Rasully, Mediothek Program Coordinator.
Hailing the activisms of National Union of Afghanistan's Workers and Employees (UNAWE) in improving the situation for workers across Afghanistan, Mr. Rasully called on the UNAWE authorities to voice the challenges of workers and lobar to responsible institutions in government and beyond. UNAWE director, Mr. Maroof Qadiri said that our organization has been working in Afghanistan with institutions such as Mediothek to improve the conditions for workers across all sectors, stressing that there are still numerous challenges to be tackled.
“Lobar laws are not fully followed in governmental and non-governmental institutions alike, especially contracts in private sector institutions are ‘cruel’, and most private sector institutions and to some extent government institutions refuse maternal leave for female workers, and private sector deny female employment because of this very reason,” added Mr. Qadiri.
Mr. Qaridi underscored the need for changes in the current labor law of Afghanistan arguing that the law which was drafted for a different economic model does not provide the needed supporting mechanisms for workers today in a changing world.
Civil society activist and women rights advocate, Mrs. Humira Saqib highlighted the challenges of private sector refusal to hire female workers, adding that the atmosphere of labor and economy in Afghanistan is still male dominated, therefore we need to work to improve female workers’ capacity and skills and work on changes of attitude about female workers.
“There are two main constraints before female workers participation in the workforce: limitations related to labor and work and cultural obstacles,” added Mrs. Humira Saqib.
Baqi Samander, civil society activities and UNAWE member, emphasized on the need to support workers’ unions and institutions in order to be able to defend workers’ rights.
Participants and experts also exchanged views and put forward suggestions for the improvement of situation of workers across all sectors. At the conclusion of the event, Mediothek Afghanistan awarded certificates of appreciation to members of the National Workers' Union of Afghanistan Employees and labor rights activists for their continued activisms and achievements in advocating for the rights of employees and workers and improving the situation for workers in Afghanistan as whole.
Mediothek Afghanistan Marked International workers Day
2nd May 2017