An NGO working for women’s rights, Janwadi Mahila Samiti, held a dharna and jan sunwai at Jantar Mantar here on Tuesday to demand that the government register domestic women workers and provide them fair wages. The programme saw about 300 home-based workers sharing their experiences.

Former MP and senior All India Democratic Women’s Association leader Brinda Karat and Institute for Studies in Industrial Development Associate Professor Satyaki Roy were also present. Delhi Janwadi Mahila Samiti general secretary Sehba Farooqui highlighted the organisation’s work and said it had written to the Chief Minister to press for the workers’ demands.

Ms. Karat spoke about the impact of home-based work on women’s lives. She said the workers were not doing this work out of choice but out of economic distress.

“Their abysmal conditions require urgent government intervention. First of all, the government should sign the international convention on home-based workers. Second, the Delhi Government should register them as workers. It is important that these workers be provided an identity card so that they can access social services. A militant struggle should be launched during the Delhi elections so that these demands can come on the political platform.”

The jan sunwai ended with a call to campaign for three immediate demands — inclusion of home-based workers in the Delhi Government’s new pension scheme for the unorganised sector workers, registration of home-based workers as ‘workers’ with the labour welfare department so that they can get social security benefits and formation of a home-based workers welfare board under the Central Unorganised Sector Workers Social Security Act, 2008.

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