Suhrid Sankar Chattopadhyay

All related to women’s problems

KOLKATA: The All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) set up seven commissions related to women’s issues on Sunday, concluding day of its four-day long eighth national conference here.

The commissions are on dowry, single women, water management, panchayats, self help groups, health, and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).

The conference expressed concern over the alarming increase in the practice of dowry and the way it was expanding to different communities, including Muslims and tribals. On single women, the AIDWA feels that it was necessary to prioritise their needs in government programmes and put an end to discrimination against single women, especially widows when it came to social practices and property rights.

On the job guarantee Act, Kiran Moghe, all-India secretary, said the productivity norm should be revised. “Because of the high productivity norm, women are not able to realise even minimum wages.” Further, the growing privatisation of the health sector and inadequate childcare and healthcare services for women was a cause for major concern.

The conference took note of the fact that unlike in West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala, where there is 40 per cent presence of women in the local bodies, in many other parts of the country the role of women functionaries in panchayats was greatly undermined. The meet also came down strongly against discrimination of dalit women at the panchayat level.

On Sunday, a new 98-member central executive committee was elected, with Subhasini Ali as president, Shyamali Gupta, working president and Sudha Sunderaman as secretary.

The AIDWA has a membership strength of 1.86 crore. Over 900 delegates from 23 States and two foreign delegates — from Bangladesh and Palestine — took part in the meet.