Orgranizaiton

Background, Mission & Vision

Information

  • Date of establishment: 1st May 1991
  •  Legal status
    – Department of Women Affairs of the GoB. Reg. WAO/DAC/157/96; Dated: 21/11/96
    – NGO Affairs Bureau Reg. 1199; Dated: 16/10/1997
  • Founder President: Shirin Akhter, MP
  • Contact person:
    Rokeya Rafique
    Executive Director, Karmojibi Nari
    Mobile: 01867 379 481

Relevance of Karmojibi Nari (KN)

Karmojibi Nari started its journey on 1st of May, the International Labour day, twenty five years ago, is still marching on the road of women rights and equal dignity. Over the years KN organized formal and informal sectors’ workers especially the women workers, strengthened their leadership capacity and advocating with concerned authorities to harmonize the existing regulations, amend and/or enact new one and effective implementation of the laws for the wellbeing of workers.

KN started organizing the worker to make them prepare for demanding their regulatory rights by forming “Cell” and develops their own organization in their respective community. RMG is the largest women workers’ concentrated formal labour sector, where TU is merely present and practiced. From 1996 KN not only organizes the female workers of RMG sector but also started uniting other workers in the formal and informal sector in their factories as well as in their respective localities. KN engages with the agricultural worker from 2005 to make them aware that they are “labour” and government should recognize them and develop regulatory system in favour of the agricultural worker’s rights. KN also raises its voice to establish the rights of migrant worker and domestic workers. On the other hand KN deals with the health awareness and the primary healthcare and HIV/AIDS issues among the disadvantaged and neglected women and women workers of Dhaka, Narayangonj, Gazipur and other cities adjacent to dhaka and aware about the personal health, family health, reproductive health and occupational health related issues. KN also provides legal support to the workers of formal sector industries and helps women and women workers to get remedy regarding their conflicts. Thus the workers become confident to struggle with the owners for establishing rights and dignity.

Besides finding ways to fight various prevailing problems of women workers in their factories and at their localities there was added stress on reforming or enacting related laws and regulations at the national level, which has serious impact upon the workers especially the women workers. KN played active role for developing the National Women Advancement Policy 2011; from 2003 KN started policy advocacy to amend the prevailing labour laws and enacting a complete Labour law (2006); from 2005 KN stared demanding for a separate labour law for the agriculture labours — the largest section of informal workers as 2006’s law is only for the formal sector workers. At the same time KN also demand to the policy makers for the recognition of agricultural workers as `worker’ in the law of 2006. KN drafted a set of recommendations in these regards. After a prolonged policy advocacy the Labour Law 2006 was amended in 2013. In this amendment “agricultural Worker” was included in the “Definition” section (Section 2) of the law. Besides, the Labour Rules which was enacted in 2015 the rights to form trade union was given for the farm agricultural workers [Section 167 (4)]. Besides, KN works as a member of Domestic Worker Rights Networks to develop a policy named ”Domestic Worker Protection and Welfare Policy, 2010” and also implementation of the law of migrant workers rights titled ”Overseas Employment and Migrants Act, 2013”. Violence against women is another dimension KN works and motivated mass for implementing Women Development Policy, 2011 and Domestic Violence Act, 2010.

All the movements of KN are an indispensable part of the movement for social change. Besides movements for women workers, women and workers, KN participates and cooperates mostly in the movement of society’s democratic transformation. KN concentrates on two other important issues; one is on international trade policies vis-à-vis other structural policies and the other one is corporate social responsibility. Gender sensitivity and promotion of women’s rights and equal access for women in all the program and projects are the primary focus of KN.

Although it is purely a rights based activist organization, KN also has been facilitating different kinds of promotional programmes including day care canters for the children of female RMG workers and provides interest free loans for the agricultural workers for promoting IGA during workless period. It also offer supports to the women and workers during disaster and emergency period.

Values

  • Equity: Treating everyone equally irrespective of nationality, gender, religion, race or sect.
  • Democracy: democratizing the entire society spreading from a sole family to the entire state.
  • Transparency: No secrecy. Every thought and deed of Karmojibi Nari relating to women workers, women and workers will be transparent.
  • Accountability: Karmojibi Nari’s accountability are twofold; it is primarily accountable to those women workers, women and workers with whom the organization was incepted in order to establish an egalitarian society and secondarily to those similar minded people, initiatives, organizations and movements with whom the organization has been associated.
  • Mutual respect-understanding-responsibility: maintaining a congenial relation with everyone based on mutual respect and understanding. All members and actions of Karmojibi Nari are liable, politically, to all women workers; organization-wise, to all its members. No one or any action is beyond scrutiny.

Objectives

  • To promote working women’s organization through national movements for establishing women’s rights and ensuring women’s conducive work environment.
  • To organize women workers and develop leadership among them through promotion of cells.
  • To strengthen and increase women’s participation (and leadership – mentioned in the Constitution) in Trade Unions and in all decision making processes.
  • To take measures for proper implementation of labour laws of the country and ILO Conventions.
  • To develop skill of working women for social, economic and human development.
  • Initiating a new and timely movement to create a society free of repression, persecution or discrimination against autocratic rule.
  • To create awareness among women workers and creating women leadership in trade unions and the CBAs (Collective Bargaining Agents)

Relationship with Government

KN has a workable relationship to work with the government. The President, Executive Director and other Personnel of KN are invited to the various programmes of the ministries like Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and so on.

Conclusion

Through the 25 years’ journey KN has been working to establish rights, dignity and authority of women as well as the women workers engaged in formal and informal economic sector. KN firmly believes that all women are ‘working women’. It is also convinced that women, who have come out of ‘home’ to meet their economic needs, should protect themselves; and that will inspire others to be involved in the public sphere. This is why KN has been fighting for women’s ‘identity’ as ‘working women’ and providing ‘platform’ for movement at national and grassroots level. Karmojibi Nari is not only a woman organization in the conventional sense; rather an organization of women-workers striving to establish rights, dignity and authority of women workers along with women and laborers. This is ever first of its kind in Bangladesh; KN is fighting relentlessly and advancing with success in a view to liberating women movement from the domination of aristocracy and upper class and labor movement from the domination of patriarchy through upholding the agenda of women workers as they are the vanguard for social changes in Bangladesh.

Mission

To develop an organization of women-workers and movements through participation with woman-workers, women, laborers and likeminded individuals, initiatives, institutions and movements.

Vision

A just and egalitarian society free from exploitation, deprivation and discrimination in which women-workers, women, and laborers enjoy their rights, dignity, power and authority

Goal

The goal of KN is to develop womenfolk in totality through achieving gender equality, enhancing the status of women, protecting human rights of women and ensuring women’s participation in the mainstream of development.

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