The Prajnya Trust

WOMEN AND WORK

Work Rights

Penn Thozhilalar Sangam and Prajnya organised a consultation on 'Women and Work' in November 2017 as part of the 2017 Prajnya 16 Days Campaign against Gender Violence, which identified a catalogue of concerns that affect women's right and ability to work outside the home. This forms the basis of a charter of Women's Workplace Rights, that lists seven core rights that give concrete form to women's fundamental rights to equality and against discrimination.

These are:

  1. The right to work with dignity and self-respect, irrespective of family and marital status.
  2. The right to safe, humane and equal workplaces that provide for transparent grievance redressal.
  3. The right to infrastructural facilities that meet women’s needs.
  4. The right to leave and leisure time, ensuring workers can meet their self-care needs and caregiving responsibilities.
  5. The right to a living wage and social security.
  6. The right to gender-equal training for work free of stereotypes.
  7. The right to unionise and collective bargaining.

Participants in the consultation included members of garment workers' trade unions, domestic workers' unions, corporate human resources professionals, lawyers, consultants, film-makers, social activists and journalists. The consultation was premised on the existence of common ground between women whose workplace challenges are rarely placed on the same plane, and one objective of the consultation was to spell out the common ground. The day was structured around sharing and discussion in small groups and a plenary, so that the common concerns derive from participant experiences and the Charter of Women's Workplace Rights are a summation of these concerns.

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