Finance Minister Announces That Women Can Now Work In All Sectors And Also Do Night Shifts. There Are Conditions For Safety
I genuinely believe that despite the growing number of crimes against women, it’s a great time to be a woman in this country. Every day, things are changing. The government is finally working towards women empowerment. Okay, they are crawling towards it but at least they are going in the right direction. Until a few years ago, women working were shamed and looked down upon. Gender norms ruled how we functioned. However, now women can not only freely work but they can do jobs that need them to do graveyard shifts. In this year’s Union Budget 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that women will be allowed to work in all sectors and in night shifts, with adequate safety. Let’s hope that she is one of those rare kinds of politicians who mean what they say.
Presenting the annual Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that women will now be able to work in all sectors of the economy, including night shifts. Of course, she stated this but not without a whole list of terms and conditions that ensured women’s safety and adequate working conditions.
Although, women being allowed to work in night shifts was already notified by the Centre as a part of Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code (Central) Rules, 2020, which are likely to be implemented from 1 April.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman has given a list of terms and conditions for employers, who have women staff working night shifts (before 6 am or beyond 7 pm), to adhere to.
— The Quint (@TheQuint) February 1, 2021
Also Read: This Guy Called Our Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman “Sweetie”. She Didn’t Even Dignify That Bit With A Response
These rules are:
- First of all, the consent of women employee should be taken
- No women shall be employed against the maternity benefit provisions laid down under the Social Security Code, 2020 (36 f 2020)
- Adequate transportation facilities shall be provided to women employees – to pick-up and drop such employee at her residence.
- The office area including passage towards conveniences or facilities concerning toilet, washrooms, drinking water, entry and exit of women employee should be well-lit.
- The toilet, washroom and drinking facilities should be near the workplace where such women employee are employed.
- The provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (14 of 2013), as applicable to the establishments, shall be complied with.
We really appreciate how Nirmala Sitharaman has looked after so many aspects of women’s safety. Having said that, I can’t help but wonder how many of these “rules” will be actually implemented strictly? Until now, we have seen numerous initiatives put in place by the government that were only there to look good on paper. Which raises the question, are these terms and conditions going to be met exactly?
If not, it’s very scary for women who are working. It’s not a secret that women’s safety in our country is down in the dumps already. So, let’s hope that Nirmala Sitharaman’s terms and conditions are met exactly. We wouldn’t want anything to open up new avenues for predators to target women.