(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 11, 2010
THE Madhya Pradesh state unit of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has strongly opposed the recent notification issued by the MP state government allowing women factory workers to work in a second (evening) shift.
It is notable that the state’s chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, had announced during a function at the Vardhaman Yarns that the state government would allow women workers to work in factories in two shifts and, if needed, even in the third shift. Following his announcement, his government issued a notification on April 3, Saturday, on this issue, which allows women to work between 5 pm to 10 pm.
It is also notable that the decision was taken in compliance to a request from the textile manufacturing sector in the state.
Reacting to this development, state AIDWA president Sandhya Shaily saied the decision amounted to an intensification of the exploitation of women workers.
“The notification has been issued under the pressure from factory owners and not for the benefit of women workers. The chief minister has made the announcement without even thinking of its consequences,” she said.
The AIDWA has alleged that while women are quite unsafe even in the state capital during the daytime, they would be exposed to still more unsafe conditions if they go out to work in the evening.
The state unit of the AIDWA has decided to stage a protest demonstration in different industrial areas on the issue.
Alleging that inhuman working condition exist in the factories at Mandideep near Bhopal, the AIDWA’s state general secretary Neena Sharma asked what guarantee the state government would give about the protection of women workers.
She alleged that 91 minors and 225 women had been raped in the state between October 2009 and January 2010. “If women workers have to work in the late evening without proper protection, they would be further exposed to severe risks,” she alleged.