BANGALORE: Women in this country are not yet politically, socially, religiously and economically empowered, observed Karnataka High Court Judge H N Nagamohan Das. Speaking at an event organised by Working Women’s Synthesis Committee (WWSC), Bangalore, he said that mere reservation for women in Panchayat Raj institutions was not sufficient.
“There has to be reservation in Parliament too, for effective framing and implementation of laws favouring women,” he felt. “Political and economical disempowerment is nothing but slavery. This is evident from the fact that women still do not enjoy equal opportunity in our country,” he said.
“No doubt we have progressed in empowering women, however, we haven’t achieved much of what we should have achieved post independence,” he observed. Women’s organisations in many places are working for democratic struggle, they should also concentrate on ideological and legal battle, Justice Das added. The judge opined that not much of money is being spent on providing basic amenities like toilets to women at the workplaces.
In this complex society, there is a general feeling that granting maternity leave is still considered as an additional burden on employers, he noted. Referring to a case of Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited which had invited applications only from male candidates to fill up the posts of lineman, Justice Das said, “When women are taking up hazardous jobs like stone crushing, construction work, there is no justification for the KPTCL whatsoever in denying women the opportunity of working as linemen”.
The High Court had recently quashed thenotification barring women from such posts, the and directed KPTCL to issue a fresh notification inviting applications from both male and female candidates. “There is a need for greater movement to fight for the rights of women at workplace. This can be mobilised only when women in this country are made aware of the existing laws ,” Manager of WWSC S Varalakshmi said.