CITU and AICCWW (CITU) Congratulates Working Women for the historic Jail Bharo on 6 March 2020

Thousands of women workers courted arrest throughout the country on the occasion of International Women’s Day (8 March being Sunday) and submitted memorandum to Prime Minister and Ministers of WCD and Labour

Centre of Indian Trade Unions congratulates the thousands of working women throughout the country who came out on the streets challenging the ruling classes and courted arrest today, 6th March 2020, under the banner of All India Coordination Committee of Working Women (CITU), as per the decision of the 16th Conference of CITU. In many states, like Tripura, Gujarat and Karnataka, the women workers dared the police and broke the barricades and courted arrest.

This massive jail bharo programme was held on the occasion of the International Women’s Day (8 March being a Sunday), which was participated by women workers from various sectors – public sector enterprises, textiles and garments, plantation, beedi, construction, brick kiln, anganwadi, ASHA, Mid day meal workers, other scheme workers from SSA, NCLP, NRLM etc, domestic workers, safai karmacharis, road transport, electricity, water supply, municipal workers, self employed women, street vendors, home based workers etc.  

The major demands are

  1. Recognise women’s work; include women’s unpaid work in the GDP
  2. Ensure equal wages for equal work for women in all sectors
  3. Implement the recommendations of 45th ILC, related to scheme workers
  4. Strict implementation of POSH Act in all work places
  5. Take effective measures to prevent violence against women; implement Justice Verma Committee recommendations
  6. Enact Act to provide 33% reservation for women in all legislative bodies at the earliest
  7. Withdraw the discriminatory, divisive and anti Constitutional CAA, and the NPR/ NRC process at once.

In Andhra Pradesh in all 13 districts, programme was held. Thousands of workers from different sectors courted arrest and also submitted memorandum on the issues. In Bihar the programme was held in 15 districts. Women workers from Anganwadi, ASHA, MDM, Beedi etc participated. In Chhattisgarh, in five districts including Rajnandgaon, Bhilai, Ballod anganwadi workers, contract workers etc courted arrest.

In Delhi in a symbolic programme held at Jantar Mantar, around hundred women and men participated. A R Sindhu, Convenor, AICCWW (CITU) and M L Malkotia, Treasurer participated in the programme in Delhi. The protestors also demanded restoration of peace in Riot affected areas of Delhi where the ruling BJP leaders instigated violence. Virender Gaud, President CITU, Kamala, Convenor CCWW, Ranjana Nirula, senior leader of CITU, Anju and Savita participated.

In Gujarat, the government resorted to severe repression to stop the programme. In four districts orders were issued and the leaders of the anganwadi union were  taken under house arrest since yesterday. Fearing the anger of the workers, the government met the anganwadi workers’ union affiliated to BMS and announced an increase in remuneration a few days back. Yesterday, the finance minister again announced the same to stop the anganwadi workers from participating. Workers were stopped from reaching Ahmadabad where women workers from nearby districts were supposed to reach. In spite of the repression, More than two thousand women workers assembled at Ahmadabad. They were all arrested and taken to custody. They were only released after the ongoing Assembly session was over for the day. In nine districts the programme was held, although in four districts the mobilisation was affected because of the house arrest of leaders. Those who were arrested include Arun Mehta, President State CITU, Kailash Rohit, and Naseemben office bearers of CITU.

In Haryana, around twenty thousand women workers – anganwadi, ASHA, Mid a Meal workers courted arrest in 22 districts in Haryana. CITU state President Surekha courted arrest in Mewat district.  In Himachal Pradesh, the programme was held at block/tehsil level. Throughout the state , the programme was held in more than 20 places. In Jharkhand, the programme was held in eight districts. Mine workers participated in massive way in the state.In Karnataka, Jail bharo was conducted in 25 districts. In Kerala, in massive programmes held in all 14 districts, thousands of women workers from different sectors marched to central government offices and public meetings were also held.

In Madhya Pradesh, Jail Bharo was held in 15 districts. In Maharashtra, Jail Bharo was held in eight districts. In a few districts, the programme will be held on 8 March. In Sholapur, thousands of women workers, especially beedi workers participated. In Nagpur also massive jail bharo was organized. In Odhisha, mass courting arrest was held in four districts.

In Punjab, militant and massive programmes were held in 22 districts and thousands courted arrest. In many districts, the police manhandled the workers. In Rajasthan programme was held in four districts. In Tamil Nadu women workers from all sectors courted arrest in all 23 districts. Throughout the state massive campaign was held to involve working women.

In Tripura, around three thousand women workers took out a rally in Agartala, daring the police, they broke the barricade and courted arrest. Panchal Bhattacharya, Jaya Barman, kajal rani Sarkar etc were among the leaders who got arrested. They were kept under detention and later released. In UP, in the given situation of repression, meetings will be organized in eight districts.

In West Bengal, a militant programme was conducted at esplanade which was addressed by Madhumit Bandhopadhyaya, Secretary, CITU, Ratana Dutta and Gargi Chatterjee, apart from CITU state leaders. Around 2500 women workers were arrested and were released later. The programme was held in all other districts as well.

In almost all states, male leaders of CITU also have participated in good numbers. Memorandums were sent to the Prime Minsier, Labour Minister and Minister for WCD. The massive response to the call shows the anger of women workers against the anti people economic policies and the divisive agenda of the RSS led BJP government.

While once again congratulating the women workers for the success of this historic struggle,the first one of its kind, CITU calls upon the women in general and working women in particular to intensify the struggle.

Issued by
A R Sindhu
Convenor AICCWW(CITU), Secretary, CITU

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