17 September 2013

28 September: Convention On Working Women's Movement

Karmajibi Mahila Parishad would like to invite you/your organization to join a convention on 28th September 2013 at the University Institute Hall, College Square, Kolkata. The objective of the convention is to strengthen the movement of working women and raise their voices against the violence perpetrated against women workers. Karmajibi Mahila Parishad demands the safety and security of working women in their work place and in public places, especially when they commute to their work place. We will use the convention to share the findings of a study the women members of our unions have conducted on sexual harassment, working conditions and public safety of working women and to plan our future strategy on these issues.

Karmajibi Mahila Parishad has emerged from the firm resolve of New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI) to make gender concerns an integral part of the trade union movement. As a central trade union centre, NTUI unionises women in different professions. NTUI works with working women and raises their collective voices through active participation of individuals engaged in various occupations. Since the last three decades, NTUI and many of its affiliates are active in unionising workers in the unorganized labour sector, who constitute 93% of the workforce in the country. NTUI believes that every worker has a right to get organized and to raise their demands be it economic, social, or political. We also support the fight of neglected and marginalised women workers in society who are demanding social security, protection, equity, recognition, respect, equal remuneration for equal work, protection from sexual harassment in the work place, and last but not the least the right to form unions. 

On 8th March, 2013 to celebrate the International Women’s Day and also to accomplish the objective of the New Trade Union, NTUI organized a rally where 6,000 working women representing 13 different professions (such as agricultural workers, brick kiln workers, bidi workers, sex workers, construction workers, domestic workers, hosiery workers, NREGA workers, midday meal cooks etc.) joined together and raised their demands. Women from other walks of life joined them.  NTUI organized this procession with the understanding that working women and women in general must come together to focus public attention on their issues and to get demands fulfilled. The other objective was to constitute a State level working women's council, through active participation of women belonging to different occupations and walks of life, which we have named the Karmajibi Mahila Parishad.

To raise these issues on 28th September 2013, the Karmajibi Mahila Parishad has decided to organise a convention to strengthen its movement against violence, sexual harassment and the recent spate of rapes and murders of women with the view to apprise the State Government of appropriate steps to address this issue.

We wish your active presence in the convention and to support our movement.

Roma Debnath   
Astabala Maity

Joint Conveners                                                                                                                                     
Karmajibi Mahila Parishad (Working Women’s Council)

05 September 2013

Right To Food & Work Press Conference

Empty stomachs epitomise the situation of hunger in our country. In West Bengal, we have the added problems of a new Government unable to stem the continuing rot in the Public Distribution System (PDS). In such a situation, the National Food Security Act 2012, which has been planned as the new showpiece of the UPA II Government has been passed with doubtful potential to deal with the problems of hunger and malnutrition.  

Mass organizations, trade unions and NGOs have been creating public awareness on this issue and have been struggling for food entitlements for the hungry as part of a National Campaign. On the 5th of September 2013 we invite you so that we can share with you our assessment of the bill and can give before you our future programme.  

Right to Food and Work Campaign-West Bengal along with other participants is organizing a Press Conference on September 5 at 4 p.m. at Kolkata Press Club to provide information on the present state of hunger and starvation in the state and provide a critique of the National Food Security Act, as well as our future course of action.

Saradindu Biswas

Right to Food and Work Campaign-West Bengal