The overriding tone and tenor of most public events held on Thursday to mark International Women's Day underlined the lack of progress in the emancipation of women in society.

Samanata Mahila Vedike, Garment Mahila Karmikara Munnade, Manasa, BBMP Contractor Workers' Association, Hengasara Hakkina Sangha, Vimochana and others held a demonstration to give a “wake up call” to government departments and agencies which are in a “state of slumber” as working women suffer.

“March 8 symbolises the struggle of working women for their rights. It is ironic that it has become a day for cosmetic companies to promote their products,” said Gowri of Samanata Mahila Vedike. Contract workers of the BBMP, 95 per cent of who are women, are not even paid minimum wages, she pointed out.

She said the Karnataka State Women's Commission, nominated to take care of the welfare of women, was completely ineffective. Ms. Gowri said that there was no action from the commission even in the case of the ‘honour killing' of Suvarna in Abalavadi in Mandya district.

The Bangalore district committee of the All India Mahila Samskruthika Sangatane (AIMSS) organised a protest demonstration against growing crimes on women in front of Town Hall.