Special Correspondent

Convention seeks a social security system for home workers

CHENNAI: Equal pay for equal work should be enshrined in the Constitution as a fundamental right for working women, a convention of working women has said.

The convention, organised on Sunday by the All-India Trade Union Congress, put forward a 10-point resolution, which wanted, among other things, immediate payment of wages to women under the Minimum Wages Act. Maternity benefits should be extended to women workers and a social security system put in place for home workers. Night shifts for women should be banned, and in those cases where it is not possible, a monitoring agency should find out whether adequate transport was being provided to them. There should be no reduction in wages for piece rate works. Hygiene should be enforced in work places. Permanent employment should be guaranteed and complaints of sexual harassment at work places should be immediately looked into. Committees should be formed to find solutions to the problems of working women, the convention said.

Recalling the contributions made by women to the freedom struggle, R. Nallakkannu, CPI central executive committee member, said the laws should be updated to meet the requirements of working women. Bonded labour still prevailed among women, and work-related privileges were not available to a majority of working women.

Women mostly had to do `double work' (at home and in work place), and this aspect was important when it came to recognising the rights of working women, said Amarjeet Kaur, national secretary, AITUC.