The non-profit organization meets strength to strength in an effort to empower Pakistan’s home based workers

SAARC Business Association for Home based workers (Sabah Pakistan) held its first Annual General Meeting in Islamabad. The meeting was attended by a wide section of the society including Mr. Hasan Wazir (Director SAARC)-Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Mr. Mustafain Kazmi (Joint Sec.) Ministry of Labour and Manpower, Mr. Iqbal Zaidi (Director General) EOBI, along with SABAH’s board of directors including Samina Khan (Chairperson) and Executive Director of Sungi Foundation.

The first AGM of Sabah symbolizes the organization’s success in bringing together skilled home based workers from across Pakistan for their economic and social empowerment.

Chief Operating Officer Mr. Saad A. Khan and The Executive Director of SABAH Pakistan Ms. Nuzhat Tabassum shared the progress report and audited accounts of the organization with its members and guests present at the AGM.

Out of the 382 members, the AGM was attended by approximately 200 members who travelled from Khairpur, Quetta, Bahawalpur, Tharparkar, Manshera, Haripur, Sukkur  and Abbotabad. These home-based workers represent the unique traditional embroidery skills of their respective regions and their commitment towards their own empowerment in partnership with SABAH Pakistan. One of the primary objectives of SABAH Pakistan is to utilize these skills and develop a product line for retail purposes in order to provide regular income to the home-based workers according to the Fair Trade Act.

To show their support for Pakistan’s home based workers and their traditional embroidery, prominent fashion designers of Pakistan such as Nilofer Shahid, Nikkie & Nina attended the meeting.

Another key highlight of the event was signing of the MoU with Mr. Afaq Ahmed Tiwana – Chief Executive Officer, Farmers Associate Pakistan and Ms. Samina Khan, Chairperson of SABAH Pakistan.  As per the MoU, Farmers Associate of Pakistan will work in conjunction with SABAH Pakistan to provide free rural land to SABAH Pakistan for setting up production centres to help the home based workers in their communities.

SAARC Business Association for Home based workers is a non- profit trade facilitation center (TFC) which is registered in Pakistan under the Companies Act section 43. It has an independent presence in SAARC countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Shared and owned by member home-based women workers (HBWWs) with embroidery skills and producer organizations, SABAH works with individuals and groups of HBWWs across Pakistan. The organization was established in Pakistan with the financial support of SAARC Development Fund (SDF) through Home Net South Asia and the technical support from SEWA and Sungi. SABAH Pakistan is also a member of Home Net Pakistan and is committed to economic and social empowerment of home based women workers and the sustained development of Pakistani culture through continued promotion of traditional embroidery.

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