[fosscomm] small step for ITEC; giant leap for IT employees

deepthi at swecha.net deepthi at swecha.net
Wed Mar 14 12:59:25 PDT 2012

> On Tuesday 13 Mar 2012, Nidhin Sasi wrote:
>> [snip]
>> The ITEC (IT and ITeS Employees Centre), a support group for IT
>> professionals, and ITHI, a forum of women employees in IT and ITeS,
>> had been campaigning against exemption from the Act.
>> Members of the two forums had campaigned against exemption as well as
>> the proposal to extend the working-hour deadline for women employees
>> from the existing 8 p.m. They had said that extension of
>> working-hour deadline will only help IT/ITeS establishments to get
>> away from their responsibilities of transportation and security for
>> women employees till 10 p.m.
>> ITHI had initiated an online campaign and a petition with signatures
>> from 700 women workers had been submitted to the Labour Secretary
>> and the Labour Commissioner.
>> The Karnataka State Women's Commission had also raised objections to
>> the exemption given to the IT industry from the law on the ground
>> that it leaves wide ground for exploitation of women in the sector.
> This takes the cake for retrogressive outlooks.  In effect, it's
> punishing industry for employing women by making it more expensive and
> complex (extra security, extra transport, conformation to laws, etc.)
> And then people whine about there not being enough women in the IT
> industry!
> If I had an IT company in Karnataka (I presume that's the "State" being
> referred to everywhere, since it is never mentioned by name) I'd
> immediately replace all the women who worked in my office with men in
> order to keep costs and complexity down.
> Responsibility for security and safety of women (or any sector of
> society) cannot be devolved from the state to industry.  It is the
> state's job to protect its citizens, and if it is failing in doing that
> it must be held accountable and measures taken to improve the situation.
> Penalising industry (and women) because the state has failed to meet its
> obligations will affect both revenue and, in the long term, gender
> equality.
> Incidentally, what is the "exploitation of women" that is specific to
> this sector and not covered under normal laws?
> Regards,
> -- Raj
> --
> Raj Mathur                          || raju at kandalaya.org

Certainly a matter of achievement and an inspiration to move forward to
fight more battles.

But what is more surprising is your comment above. I am not sure how old
you are. If you are a non working kid then am sure you will learn as you
grow up if not:

I always felt I am an equal competition to all the men folk in all the
roles that i handled so far at my work place. But your perspective is an
eye opener to me now. You feel that the transport that the companies
provide kill their revenue and push them to losses! You must be from
another world for sure. Have you ever taken some time to look at the
annual reports of any company? Please do so. Its not rocket science but
any person of basic common sense levels can understand how much a company
spends on their transportation expenses as opposed to the profits they
gain. Its negligible.

Let me give you more tips to run a successful business on the same lines
to reduce cost on employees -
- Since sanitation is the state's responsibility, remove restrooms.
- Restrict elevators only for non-human company assets
- Since is individual and state's responsibility, remove health insurance
I am sure you can think of more...

While you as a businessman (going by your "if I had a...") and the country
(or state) are deciding whose responsibility is it to protect the women in
this country, you want me to sit at home and keep watching the drama and
come up with some sane solution for me. Is that so? Then please make a
note of it that in spite of crossing 60 years of independence neither of
you have been able to provide any answer to it, on the contrary things
have only gone from bad to worse.

One example of exploitation of women, specific to this sector is - a woman
being fired for conceiving a child or for even getting married. But am
sure with an attitude of replacing women with the men employees, you may
not understand whats wrong in the above example let alone gender equality.

It is the business interests like these that keeps the state away from
Article 42 in the Directive principles of the State policy of the Indian
constition - "Provision for just and humane conditions of work and
maternity relief" and why organisations like ITEC should take up such


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