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Home Activities Women's Sub Committee Make the world a better place by fighting against the existing system

Make the world a better place by fighting against the existing system

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Renjana NirulaI came to Kerala in 1976 and that was my turning point in my life.Now first of all why I was interested in Communist movement because when I was at university in the United States, there was a huge anti Vietnam war movement going on in America which had vertically divided the society in America. There were some people, the republicans who supported the war, who supported the aggression against the developing countries all over the world and there was a liberal section in Amercian society and specially on Amercian Campuses, which was strongly opposed to American intervention in Vietnam. And I have been to there at a time when this movement on American University campuses was at its highest peak. There were many others like me who were in the west at that time and amongst them are Sri Prakash Karat, Smt Brinda Karat,Smt Subhashini Ali etc. We were all inspired by the struggle that how a small under developed country against the mightiest force in the world. And we all wondered about what was it to stand up and fight like this. And then we realised that it is because of their commitment to communism, commitment to marxist-lenisist ideology, and we all of us were drawn to that ideology . first it was a subjective reaction then it became ideological commitment and it became our life long commitment..........................
..............Our organization ( Working Womens Coordination committee) was bothered because of the reasons that women workers were more exploited among other working class. The government was not interested in the welfare of the working women. The employers were interested only to what extend they can exploit the women or how much labour they can extract from them. The trade unions unfortunately neglected the special needs of working women at that time. ......................
..................... We all have special problems and needs in home ,in society, in family and the same way we often have some problems in trade unions too. But we need to identify the problems, address it and we have to work for it to resolve. The Working Women Cordination Committee is not a separate autonomous organization of working women. It works as a Subcommittee under the existing Association/Unions as a part of it. And the CITU decide to organize the women since women are the integral part of the working class and the working class movement will not complete without the participation of Working Women. As workers, as employees we have a right to organize under the constitutions. The CITU which works for the rights of the employees and workers also enables creates an enabling environment for this section of workers to exercise and gain his right. So there is basic scientific reason for organizing working women..........................
...................Now what are the things which acts as barriers to our work and barriers of our growth?. You belong to Privileged working class . So you are very different from those who works in low wages and in unorganized sectors. You have got all securities like Pensions, regular or specified working hours, ESI, Provident Fund, etc .You have got this since we have trade unions or Associations. You are highly educated and you are professionally trained. You must think how much it has translated to your status in society to lessening gender discriminations in the society and to giving you a special status within the family and your status general in life in the world. Or can you tell that your existence as a highly qualified professional and as a woman working in a well-organized sector, has it finish off all discrimination against you? Has it given you any equality with men in every sphere? These ares the thing we have to think about and question. Because there is a general trend in feeling that things are going well.. life is comfortable.. life is peaceful. Then who are the rubbles comes to our society to create unrest in the work place?.....
70 % of the world are under poverty and most of them are women and children. And just remember that 70% of the work in the world are done by women and children but they earn only 10% of the income and women are having only 1% of the property. Only 1% of the women have property rights in Kerala.................
.............. In "Occupy Wall Street" the capitalist systems were questioned. The wall-street was occupied by the protesting mob. Yes, We are seeing an alternative in Latin America and in other countries. The most rigidly fundamentalist area in the world which is the middle east, in Arabs ,we see Arab Spring, fighting against the governance. The ground reality is people can not survive under this system. So how we can sit peacefully . It is you, the privileged working class of the society to decide what the world to be. Which side we are going to be. I took a personal decision. I did my PhD from US and I could have been led a secured life after that. You can also lead a very comfortable life. But part of the comfortable life there is something you can do to make the world a better place by fighting against the existing system......................
...........................The discrimination starts in our home itself. If I come to your home and If you are engaged with me ,you will be sending your daughter to make tea even if your eldest son is there. This discrimination we start from day first. In north it start from female foeticide. When a son is born, you give Burfi. When a daughter is born, you give laddu, which is much cheaper. When women go to ultra sound scan, doctors use code words say you can give Burfi or laddu instead of Boy or Girl. It has become a big business now. There are 23 full body ultra sound machine in Delhi. ?There are only 9 such machines in whole city of London. The scene has changed to that extend that the capitation fee for PG seats of radiology has gone high than any other seats. So that the radiologists can make more money by scanning and reporting and initiate the foeticide.
A crucial issue is the sexual harassment against women at workplace. How many of you have read the Supreme Court guidelines on the 1998, Vishaka Judgement ? Over 90% of women suffer with workplace sexual harassment at some stage during their working life. I have dealt with cases, because of this many committed suicide because of sexual harassment. .......................
...................So the now the thing is. What are we talking about apart than this. What is democracy means to us apart from the right to vote every 5 years? We fought and we got 33% and we got now in panchayath and local panchayath it is 50%. They resisted it since they don't wanted us to improve. What a kind of cheap craps heard in parliament? During that time some from Bihar said "Oh now women will go to parliament and we will make roti". Yes you will make roti. But What stops you to resist our right to come to parliament....................
It is union's duty to educate or train the women and make them improve themselves and others. In 1979 when we formed All India Coordination Committee in CITU it was 6% and now its 27% women members in CITU. Fight for your place in your union as knowledgeable ,intelligent, committed member to improve the system not just as consideration as a women.
You may have to work hard may be 10 times more than men to compete them. You have to do the things at home and at work along with the union activities but be knowledgeable. Know whats happening around you.
There are alternatives and when we learn we find it and we can make it happen as we work on it. That is what I believe and that is what I found in kerala in 1973. All over the world people are fighting against the inequities and inequalities in the system. The old policies wont work on the generation now, people know what they want.

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