Social Scientist. v 4, no. 40-41 (Nov-Dec 1975) p. 146.


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VIMLA RAND1VE

Working-class Women

DECLARATION of the International Women's Year was the culmination of long-drawn struggles of working women for equal status with men and for equal job opportunities which have been denied to them in the capitalist countries. Reacting to the powerful women's movement, the United Nations and the International Labour Organization (ILO) declared 1975 as dedicated to the cause of women when their specific demands should be popularized and democratic opinion created.

The Government of India also announced that it had resolved to observe the year in a "befitting inanncr^. Labour Bureau of the Ministry of Labour brought out a book, Women in Industry. The government promulgated an ordinance on equal wage for equal work. Leaving aside the argument how far the ordinance will come into practice in different industries, one cannot but wonder why women workers had to wait 28 years after independence »for this ^gift9 especially in view of the fact that the government had ratified the lLO's equal-wage convention No 100 since 1954. According to annual reports of the ILO, the countries which ratified the convention had been constantly reminded of their responsibility to implement it by introducing necessary legislation. Nothing was done in India till 1975 although the directive principles of the constitution recognize equal status for women and men, and prohibit discrimination



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