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Ensure workplace safety for women : FITE – MARCH-8 Message

On account of International working women’s day, FITE congratulates all work ng women on this wonderful day. Though women contribute more than men towards the development of mankind since the first day of human history, her work is still not equally recognized, rewarded, protected against work exploitation, provided secured workplace and opportunities. Gender inequality is still across the world.

March 8: International working women’s day reflects the century old history of working women’s’ struggles against gender inequality and for the women liberation from the patriarchal society.

In 1908, about 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York – fighting for suffrage (voting rights), better pay (pay equivalent to men) and lower working hours (up from 12 hours to 8 hours). The slogan, ‘Bread and Roses’ was raised by those women – ‘Bread symbolizing economic security and Roses a better and dignified life’. The victory of that struggle has been cherished in March 8 since hundred years. The historic women’s struggle also contributed to the Universal Standardization of 8 hours working a day. A century old history stands behind as the reason for lakhs of women employees working today in government offices, private sectors including IT sectors with the salary and rights at par with men employees. Great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. At the same time we have a long way to go in the journey to end social discrimination, in the fight against structured oppression on women.

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Relatively women employees of IT/ITES sector enjoy more equal rights at par with men but the gender bias exists in payouts, appraisal ratings, promotions, project work allotment. A survey points out women techies earn 20 % less than male colleagues. Besides, sexual teasing, harassment, insecurity too exists in workplaces and en route to workplaces.

Special care towards women employees is MUST during menstruation, pregnancy and feeding times but still lagging in our IT/ITES companies. To win over all our rights, we must align up for a massive struggle led by women.

However, the patriarchal society pushes women back to homes by unleashing sexual violence in the workplaces, streets, buses, cabs,railway stations, etc. Murders of Uma Maheswari in Siruseri campus, Swathi in Nungambakkam railway station and Rasila in Pune Infosys campus are threatening working women to come out.

Ensuring safety at workplaces is the first most duty of the Government and all IT/ITES companies.

Work place safety for a woman is still a dream; let us make it a reality

Join #FITE for our rights!

Be Bold for a change , Be Bold for our rights

For the benefit of IT women employees, Forum for IT Employees (FITE) demanding the Government and IT/ITES companies to:

1. Ensure workplace safety to women techies.

2. Grant paid Maternity leave for NINE months.

3. Set up child-care facilities in IT/ITES offices

4. Consider women’s societal status/position while evaluating her performance

5. Ensure one in three women to be employed at all levels of the organization

6. Get consent from women employees to work in night shift

7. Provide flexible break timings / work place during menstruation, pregnancy and feeding periods

8. Conduct gender sensitivity workshops regularly among all employees.

9. Set up internal complaints committee against sexual harassment in the companies

10. Institute government hostels for working women near IT/ITES companies

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