BMKQ leads fight for women empowerment in Qatar

(Photo: Qatar Tribune)

Women members of the Bayanihan ng mga Manggagawa sa Konstruksyon ng  Qatar (BMKQ) are paving the way for gender equality among migrant workers in the Middle East. 

In an article published by Qatar Tribune, BMKQ Women said that it is empowering women migrant workers by raising their awareness through education on the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) global standards aimed at ending violence and harassment in the world of work. 

“Our priority is to build a strong campaign on raising awareness and support to ILO Convention 190- Harassment and Violence in the World of Work. We aspire to educate and develop more women leaders through trainings as well as strengthen support to the community and workers welfare through coordination with the Philippine government and Qatar’s Ministry of Labour in understanding the implementation of the new labour reforms,” BMKQ Women President Myla Laja said. 

According to Laja, the women wing of BMKQ was established in 2019 after she attended a Global Women Meeting held in Skopje, Macedonia, the same year. 

“The event was attended by 40 women leaders from 20 countries in Asia, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and Europe. The inspiring words of the Chair of BWI (Building and Wood Workers’ International) Women Committee on finding solutions instead of mere complaining and putting blame on the challenges and difficulties faced by women has struck me that I was motivated to go further and learn more about women’s rights,” she said. 

Since its formation, BMKQ Women has organised various activities including the group’s first International Women’s Day gathering in March and the celebration of International Migrants Day and BMKQ Women’s Graduation held recently. 

Currently, BMKQ women has 60 members from various industries including construction, manufacturing, hospitality and services sectors including medical workers, salon staff, hotel employees, cleaning staff and domestic workers. 

BMKQ is a non-profit, welfare-oriented organisation of Filipino workers in the construction sector with more than 600 members. It has a solid partnership with BWI and collaborates with the ADSLA’s Community Leaders Forum and the Bayanihan ng mga Domestic Workers.