The current ‘me too’ in India- Solidarity Statement

Fight to Demolish Feudal Patriarchal culture at workplaces and for Democratic Culture.

In India, the “Me Too’ movement exposes that forcing law enactments are not enough-Movements alone can ensure implementation.

Brave, angry outpourings from women journalists and women in the entertainment industry in Mumbai are reigning over headlines in India.  Comparisons are being drawn with the movement with the same name which burst out over a year earlier in the US and it is being made out that the inspiration has been drawn from there, but this is only a partial truth. It was after December 16th 2012 that the floodgates of women’s anger in India burst open in a new way. It was not that women had not spoken about power based sexual violence at workplace or in course of performing duty, earlier. The failed attempt at justice in semi feudal India by a saathin in Rajasthan became the prod for women’s movements which resulted in the Vishakha judgement of the Supreme Court. It called for internal committees at workplace till a law to the same effect was enacted. After that it also set the tone, by violating its own judgement on its own premises.

Several women dared to speak out after Vishakha – in the capital city of Delhi they faced severe backlash despite being backed by support by co workers with one case seeing a powerful movement; there was similar experience in the rest of the country.… Read More


Expose and Demand Action against State Complicity in Violence against Women! Fight Patriarchy and Institutions supporting these Values!


The last week has been horrific for women in India. Instances of different kinds of violence against women have all come to the fore simultaneously from different parts of India. In all of them either administrations or different wings of the state, especially the police have failed to act to protect women and girls.

News came from Haryana of a gangrape of a student who has a meritorious educational record and had performed well in the CBSC. She was waylaid by a gang of men including two serving armymen as she got off a bus and was making her way to her destination. This is not the first case of women students in Haryana facing sexual violence in the route between bus stops and homes but neither has the Govt. of the state bothered to put infrastructural correctives in place nor is adequate policing done to protect the students. The BJP Govt. of the state is yet to utter any regret about the incident

Similarly from Dehradun in Uttarakhand came the report of the gangrape of a girl student within the school premises by a group of senior students of the same school, the institution being reported as a ‘prestigious boarding school’.… Read More


Report on Unnao Rape by Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan (PMS), Delhi

A fact finding team of Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan (PMS) Delhi visited Unnao Dist. in Uttar Pradesh on the 15th and 16th of April 2018. Advocate Shobha( President of PMS Delhi), Adv. Poonam (General Secretary, PMS Delhi) and Adv. Mamta (member, PMS Delhi) were its members. The PMS Delhi decided to send this team to Unnao to get a deeper understanding of the facts and sequence of events regarding the news of rape of a minor by MLA Kuldeep Singh and the killing of her father being reported in the newspapers and in other media. Along with meeting the survivor and her family, this team also met the relatives of the accused MLA and the villagers of the concerned Makhi village of Dist. Unnao. The team also spoke to police officers, lawyers and journalists in Unnao city in this regard. The issues which emerged in this two day study by the PMS team are presented here.

Meeting with the Survivor and her Relatives:-

The PMS team reached green Palace Hotel in Unnao city at around 11.30 am on the 15th of April. After the survivor’s father was killed in jail on the 9th of April2018, the officers of District administration placed the girl and her entire family in this hotel for providing them security.… Read More


PMS Enquiry into Kathua Rape Case

A four member team of Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan (Delhi)  visited Kathua District of Jammu region of J&K state on 18th and 19th of March 2018 in connection with the rape and murder of an 8 year old girl of the Bakkarwal tribe and the subsequent vicious communal propaganda unleashed there against the arrests of the alleged rapists and murderers. The team consisted of Adv. Poonam Kaushik- PMS General Secretary, Adv. Shubra (Vice President of PMS, Delhi), Adv. Kalpana -Secretary PMS Delhi and Adv. Jaishree.

The team’s Report was released in Delhi on the 24th of March 2018. The team expressed its shock and grief at the fact that the rape and murder of an 8 year old girl child, late Asifa, of a nomadic community, instead of being condemned by all sections of society, has been turned into a rallying point on communal lines in defence of the accused persons. It unanimously condemned the same. It is pertinent to state that the accused persons were apprehended only after the sniffer dogs took the scent from the spot in the jungle where the body was found to the cowshed of Sanjhi Patwari, a retired revenue official who is  one of the accused.… Read More


Call on 8th March 2018

Fight Backward Feudal, Communal, Casteist Diktats For Women of Hindutva led Govt.

Fight Patriarchy, Fight for Equality.

Strengthen solidarity with Democratic struggles and with the revolutionary movement to build a new society.

8th March embodies the spirit of collective struggle of women to assert equality- not just of gender but also of race and class. Women workers of New York marched under the leadership of socialist women for voting rights for all women (as opposed to only white women) along with class demands in 1908. Declaration of 8th March as International Working Women’s Day by the Second Women’s Socialist International under the leadership of Clara Zetkin, was to mark the understanding behind that march.

2018 sees the casteist, communal, patriarchal attacks by Hindutva forces continuing across the country despite the fightbacks. Gauri Lankesh was felled by bullets as she relentlessly wielded her pen against divisive policies. The Yogi Govt. of Uttar Pradesh is preparing to withdraw all cases lodged at the time of the anti Muslim violence in Muzaffarnagar when hundreds of Muslim families were displaced from their villages of their ancestors apart from sexual violence against many women. Casteist and communal attacks continue, widowing women or leaving them in the lurch as men of the family are arrested, maimed or workplaces and property are destroyed leaving families on the streets as in both Saharanpur and Kasganj.… Read More


16th December 2017 : Sway of Patriarchy over Judiciary must be Fought

Five years down from 16th December 2012 and the subsequent struggle highlighting the grip of patriarchy over all wings of the State and over society, little has changed. One aspect under the scanner then was the Judiciary. This year there is sufficient reason to use this day to focus on how the courts of India are keeping alive patriarchal chains on women while even robbing women of hard won rights. On December 16th this year, we should highlight the role of judiciary in defending and perpetuating the patriarchy in the society.

There are examples galore of the way judges at different courts at different levels pass remarks justifying dowry, explaining away beating up of wives by husbands as “correction”, commenting on “misuse of laws” by women to terrorize the in laws and husbands. Women activists in every state can find examples galore of such experiences in the various lower courts in their states and at the level of the High courts. But it is important to see the example set by the highest Court in this regard, because it is followed by the lower judiciary.

Over the past three years, there has been focus on the Supreme Court’s restraint on immediate arrests under Section 498A.… Read More

CPI-ML New Democracy PMS POW

Women and Socialism


India 2017. Rampant gender discrimination and gender exploitation prevails. This is despite upsurges of struggles against violence on girls and children in recent years and even earlier sustained struggles of 1970s and ‘80s forcing changes in rape, dowry and custodial laws pertaining to women. This is over and above and in fact often a form of expression of class exploitation, rendering lives more miserable for peasant and working class women and poor women in general. In addition, women of the minorities especially Muslims, also face gender violence by the state, by lumpens of ruling parties and even the state forces as part of violence against minorities. And perhaps the oldest and most sustained is the gender violence and discrimination faced by Dalit women from the so called upper castes. The challenges before the women’s movement are severe indeed, not only for fighting the immediate issues, not only running the battle against patriarchal attitudes and state sponsored and defended gender violence (rapes in AFSPA areas) but also some thought to an alternative society. The challenges are all the more urgent in the current political milieu, where the rise of Hindutva forces to power in the Central Govt. and in many state Govts.… Read More


8th March 2017 : Fight Gender Discrimination! Fight for Equality!

Gender discrimination is faced by women in India in all walks of life. In the workplace, it begins with unequal and lesser wages for the same work and also refusal to employ in permanent posts. The other important manifestation is to restrict women’s access to higher managerial posts. The markedly lower number of women in the higher positions of the judiciary despite there being a large number of women lawyers, the lesser number of women heads of Universities, are all pointers to the restricted access for women to the higher posts. At the other end of the spectrum, women workers are more likely to be piece rate and informal workers in the textile industry; one hardly finds skilled or even semi skilled workers in the construction industry.
And so it remains in other walks of life. The female foetus is sought to be discarded through sex determination and selective abortions. The birth of the girl child is met with sorrow and she is discriminated against in food and education in comparison to brothers. Where there is want, the girl child is discriminated against in diet. The women are the last to eat in the home and if there is not enough they will feed the family even if they have to sleep on empty stomachs.… Read More


Four Years Later- Status of Women and Sexual Violence on December 16th 2016

Four years after the horrific gang rape in Delhi on 16th December 2012, the massive agitation and the Justice Verma headed Commission’s Report, where does the situation on sexual violence against women stand? This is a time to reflect, to savour what gains there are and to assess the challenges.

The one thing that that the agitation in Delhi achieved has been to give women in Delhi and probably women in the rest of urban India as well the courage to speak up and identify themselves as the ones violated rather than as the guilty. This has found its inevitable reflection in a dramatic rise in the number of crimes that are getting registered, the number of FIRs on the issue getting lodged despite the callous justice system, the pressures of the powerful guilty and the anti woman stance of the police throughout the country. The additional gain seems to be that in more and more cases the immediate natal family is supportive of the women and willing to aid the registration of the offence. Apart from the immediate agitation which tore at the issue of ‘shame’, the stance of the parents of the victim of 16th December 2012, who have chosen to remain active and outspoken on the right of their daughter to justice and have been brave and forthright in publicizing her name, has contributed. … Read More


Hindutva and Women

(This booklet was a joint publication of POW (Andhra Pradesh), POW (Telengana), PMS (Delhi) and Istree Jagriti Manch (Punjab). Considering its importance we are publishing it.)

Why This Booklet
Since the last two years, an RSS BJP Govt. is in power in the Central Govt. The period preceding the general elections 2014 was marked by anti Muslim violence in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. This violence was organized and orchestrated by Hindutva forces. This single example is being used here because it helps to bring out several important aspects of the BJP RSS regarding women. Western Uttar Pradesh was already in the spotlight of women’s organizations for its Khap Panchayat dictated so called ‘honour killings’ by the dominant landed peasantry in cases involving predominantly inter caste marriages by women from the dominant castes. Alleging eve teasing of a Hindu girl, the RSS BJP poured communal venom into this area and continually harped on ‘Bahu Bet Izzat’ in this campaign which they sought to extend to the rest of the state and also to the rest of India. The stated part of their campaign was the so called threat to Hindu girls from Muslim boys who wanted to marry them after converting them.… Read More