The State Women’s Convention of Tamil Nadu Bank Employees’ Federation (TNBEF) has demanded implementation of all legislative rights such as equal pay for equal work, payment of defined sector specific minimum wages to women workers in the unorganized and agricultural sector.

The two-day convention that commenced here on Sunday was inaugurated by the general secretary of All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) C.H. Venkatachalam and presided over by the TNBEF president N. Sampath.

While demanding payment of maternity benefits as provided in the Maternity Benefit Act to all women workers, the convention also sought adequate budgetary allocation and constitution of national fund for women welfare schemes.

Taking a serious view of the ‘Sumangali Thittam’ and demanding its ban, the convention termed the ‘Thittam’ as a system of modern slavery and exploitation of women workers perpetrated by the big textile mill owners with impunity. Vowing to fight against this system of slavery, the convention demanded that all workers be regularized.

Enactment of law to ensure 33 per cent reservation for women in the Legislative Assemblies and in the Lok Sabha and hazzle free credit facilities to self employed women through nationalized banks were the other demands.

Despite adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, atrocities against women were increasing sharply world over. While taking a positive view of some of the laws that offer protection to women in India, the convention considered it necessary to make women aware of their rights.

The convention resolved to fight for the above demands under the banner of the AIBEA and associate itself with the trade unions and like minded women’s groups. The participants also discussed in detail the challenges facing the banking industry and pledged to march shoulder to shoulder with the AIBEA to preserve the nationalistic character of the Indian banking industry.

Over 400 women bank staffs are taking part in the convention during which the Corporation Mayor S. Sujatha, Director & Head, Department of Women’s Studies, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchi Dr. N. Manimegalai, State secretary of National Federation of Indian Women and MLA P. Padmavathy and AIBEA joint secretary Lalitha Joshi spoke on the occasion.