Friday, May 11, 2007
Night Shift ban
It has been a week since our beloved labour minister declared that women cannot work in night shifts. Till date there is no clarity on the issue. By Monday most people decided it is too ridiculous a measure to implement. But bang on Thursday the minister declares no it will be enforced and the governor has signed it
In the same newspaper the minister also announces the most cliched but most preferred and revered reason for all this "it is against the Indian culture to make women work at night"
But there is some hope still. The women's commission is refusing to back down. Vimochana one of the NGOs working with women is contemplating a PIL. And according to today's TOI report Ansari is pretty much on his own in this brilliant move to protect the women and the Indian culture. Neither the governor nor some of the other ministers in the cabinet are with him. And even better the Labour commissioner is trying to get permission women work in factories at night shift!
Do these guys even talk to each other? What was the minister thinking after all?
There has been some noise about this the blogworld too. Here are some:
It is crazy how most women are NOT indignant about this. Most of them sound like they would be rather glad to just stay at home and cook. They however want to wear what they want, drive around, hang out and have all the fun - basically enjoy the fruits of feminist movement but gladly jump sides when they need to so something to keep this going for the next generation of women. Talk about shortsightedness!
I was talking to the domestic help Satya at my place about this. She's not educated, works in half a dozen houses to feed her her drunkard brother and aging father and believes everything that happens in the serial are real. I had to warm her up to the subject.
Me: What do you think about women working?
Satya: As long as it is to make your family life better it is fine
Me: For what else would someone want to work?
Satya: There are some who just like to show off, prove a point I don't think that is right
Me: So should they be stopped from working?
Satya: No how can you stop someone from working? You have to change her attitude thats all.
Me: Do you know government is banning women from working at night shifts?
Satya: Ayyo then what will happen to eshwari akka? she goes to cook dinner in that house every evening. And why should government stop her? Do you have to work at night?
Me: sometimes. you think I shouldn't do it?
Satya: no how can I say that? it is either you or your husband who has to decide if you should work at night or work at all not the government.
Satya an illiterate girl who has little lokajnana is saying that this is an individual choice and the state has nothing to do with it.
Are you listening Mr. Ansari?