POW

PMS POW

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

PMS POW

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

Friends,

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

AIKMS IFTU POW

FINDINGS OF THE FACT FINDING TEAM ON THE THOOTHUKUDI POLICE FIRING

The press note issued by the team consisting of leaders of IFTU, AIKMS and POW after the team visited Toothukudi on May 29, 2018 is being published here. This press note has been released by the team at the press conferences held at Vijayawada (AP), Hyderabad (Telengana) and Chennai (Tamilnadu). – Editor
On 22-05-2018, a demonstration of about 50000 people before the Collectorate in Thoothukudi, Tamilnadu opposing the expansion of Sterlite company was fired upon by the police killing 11 persons and another two were killed in a similar fashion the next day bringing the death toll to 13. In order to check the veracity of various versions on this grave incident of national importance and find out the real facts, a Fact Finding Team(FFT) was constituted jointly by the Indian Federation of Trade Unions(IFTU), All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS) and the Progressive Organisation of Women(POW), AP. The FFT members, J.Chalapathi Rao,Vice-President, AIKMS, P. Prasad, Secretary, IFTU and Lakshmi,General Secretary of POW, AP visited Thoothukudi on 29-05-18 along with two advocates of TN, Prabhaker and Jyothi and PUCL organizer Sampath. The FFT was helped by the NDLF in organizing the programme.The FFT met families of those killed and the injured.… Read More

PMS POW

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

PMS POW

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

Introduction

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

PMS POW

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

PMS POW

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

PMS POW

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

POW

Sixth Conference of POW (Telengana) Successfully Held in Khammam

The sixth Conference of Progressive Organization of Women (POW) was held in Khammam, Telengana (It was the first conference of POW Telengana) on 4th and 5th January 2015. This was preceded by a rally and mass meeting by POW on 3rd January.
More than 10,000 women mostly holding red flags of POW, marched through Khammam town in a blaze of red from S.R. & B.G.N.R. College grounds to Pavilion grounds in a two and a half kilometer trek on 3rd afternoon. Preceded by Arunodaya activists who sang and danced folk dances (similar to dandiya) through the streets, they attracted the town’s population to come out of offices and homes to watch the procession. The rally was headed by flag and banner bearing executive committee members of POW Telengana along with guests from sister organizations of AP, Punjab and Delhi along with other guests.
The mass meeting at Pavilion grounds was packed with scintillating and colourful performances by Arunodaya teams of the various districts. Com Jhansi (President POW Telengana) conducted the proceedings. Chief Guest Shanta Sinha (erstwhile chairperson of National Childs Rights Committee, currently with Central University Hyderabad and also a founder member of POW) was the first speaker. She emphasized on the need to involve men in the defence of women’s rights, and placed the need for more schools equipped with basic services to cater to education needs.… Read More