(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 12, 2010
CZIEA Working Women Hold Third Zonal Conference
THE Central Zone Insurance Employees Association (CZIEA), an affiliate of the All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA), held the third zonal conference of its working women on August 22 at Raghavendra Bhawan in Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh). The venue of the conference was so decorated as to depict the women’s awareness about the organisation.
Ranjana Nerula, treasurer of the CITU and working editor of the Voice of Working Women, attended from the centre. While speaking on the occasion she said the government’s policies are against the working class. Only 3 per cent of the employees belong to the organised sector and a large number belong to the unorganised sector where no rules and regulations are adhered to. Though there is a distinct increase in women’s employment as domestic workers and millions of women are working as Anganwadi workers, their remunerations are far less than the minimum wages decided by the state governments. The government is providing Rs 30,000 crore as subsidy to the corporate houses but causing havoc to the common people’s life by way of price rise; 83 per cent of Indian population is forced to live with a paltry Rs 20 a day. She urged upon the women employees that along with their duties at home front and at their workplaces, they must come forward to actively work to wipe out the social evils.
Speaking on the occasion as chief guest, CZIEA general secretary B Sanyal said the AIIEA guards the self-respect of its members. He asked the gathering to remember that while struggle is necessary to win rights, it is equally important to protect them. Without taking the help of those living with Rs 20 a day, how can we save our salaries and facilities? Women’s empowerment is not possible with just a few women occupying higher posts. In capitalist world, women are not considered as humans and therefore they are required to launch persistent struggles for their empowerment. Women’s future can be secured only by the democratic movements. D R Mahapatra, AIIEA president Amanullah Khan, its general secretary Venu Gopal and CZIEA president S R Urdhwareshe also graced the occasion.
In the delegates session, Zonal Working Women’s Coordination Committee coordinator Usha Paragniha placed the report, on which 12 delegates from different divisional units expressed their views. During the debate, important issues, viz plight of women at international level, impact of the policies of liberalisation on the education, health and employment of women, etc were discussed at length. The conference also noted the decline in sex ratio due to female foeticide, murder of female children, dowry deaths, discrimination etc. The delegates felt that working women should get real economic independence by way of decision making, basic amenities and security at working place. The conference also observed that the bill for 33 per cent reservation to women in parliament and state legislatures has been hanging fire for the last 14 years. As the Rajya Sabha has passed it, the Lok Sabha should also pass it.
Geeta Pandit (
FIRST STATE CONVENTION
The Chhattisgarh state committee of the CITU organised the first state level convention of working women on August 21, at its state office. Ranjana Nerula attended from the CITU centre.
About 45 working women from all over the state of Chhattisgarh attended the convention. They belonged to the Contract Labour Union of NTPC (Korba), Construction Labour Union (Korba), Chhattisgarh Mandi Labour Union, Chhattisgarh Red Flag Bidi Labour Unity Union, Market Workers Union, Anganwadi Workers & Helpers Union, Hindustan Steel Employees Union (Bhillai), Midday Meals Labour Unity Union etc.
State CITU vice president Anjana Babar (in charge of working women) placed before the gathering a report for debate, highlighting the importance of forming unions, increasing membership and the purpose of conducting conventions in the industries with a high number of working women. 13 women comrades have participated in the debate. The discussion chiefly focussed on issues concerning working women, viz. difficulties they face in enrolment, formation of unions in new areas, deficiency of members and leadership. While addressing the convention, state CITU deputy secretary Ajit Lal assured that a demands charter of important issues emerging from the discussion would be prepared and a strategy to unleash struggles chalked out.
Ranjana Nerula focussed in detail on the CITU decision to organise the working women. She said unless women workers are selected and imparted training, it is not possible to develop their leadership qualities though the 25 per cent of CITU membership consists of women. We have to give priority to areas with high numbers of women workers, otherwise the working class movement cannot move ahead. A sub-committee of women in each union and a coordination committee at district level must be formed, so as to pave the way for the formation of a state level committee. She also exhorted the women employees to make the nationwide one day strike on September 7 a grand success.
The convention was presided over by Aruna Vaishnav, secretary of the CITU state committee.