INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – OUR TASKS
International Women’s Day (March 8th) is a global day observing the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of Women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.It begun in New York City on March 8,1857, when female textile workers marched in protest of unfair working conditions and unequal rights for women.It was one of the first organised strikes by working women, during which they called for a shorter work day and decent wages.Finally, Clara Zetkin, leader of progressive movement of Germany raised the voice unitedly “fight for women’s rights”.She in the year 1910 first tabled an idea of official International Women’s Day in Germany. A conference of over hundred women from 17 countries welcomed Zetkin’s idea to observe World’s First International Women’s Day. Then it was first observed by Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland in 1911 on March 19th and by Russia in 1913 on last Sunday of February. March 8 has been the recognized date for International Women’s Day since 1914. This day is a National Holiday in 27 countries, often involving men acknowledging the women who are special in their lives through flowers and small gifts. The United Nations has observed International Women’s Day since 1975 and has included an official theme for International Women’s Day since 1996. This day is a reminder to everyone worldwide that Women play important roles in all parts of the society, from education and politics to research and business and is a day to reflect upon women, past and present, who have made an impact on others end of society. Let us imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias,stereotypes and discrimination.A world that diverse equitable and inclusive.A world where differences valued and observed. Together we can forge women’s equality. A world where everybody will feel leaving women behind and dishonouring them, a modern civilized society is not possible. Men and Women collective we can all #Embrace Equality (the theme of this year). As a University, we are dedicated to embracing equity not just on this day but every day.
With this understanding NFPE has made a new History at Bidar, Karnataka. One Women Convention under NFPE has been held there on 10-11 September 2022. It was unprecedented, historic in terms of success. Despite the difficulty of travelling to Bidar, nearly three hundred and fifty delegates attended the Convention. Not only the good gathering, the opening speech, very relevant discussion of the delegates on secretarial report, reply speech all added a special dimension to the convention. The Reception Committee of the Convention under the active guidance of NFPE, Karnataka Circle had arranged everything in a pre-planned, systematic and disciplined way. We have no doubt everybody attending the convention will remember it forever
But question is why have we thought of such national level women convention under NFPE? Actually, in our Department out of total working force 35% is women. They have been discharging their official duties entrusted with them efficiently and effectively. Out of this 35% women mostly is our members. But what is most important how many of these members are active in organisation? It is fact there are women sub-committee under most of the affiliates of NFPE. And again right from Circles, all India Union some of our lady comrades are functioning, even leading the organisations very effectively. But this is not enough. There is a saying “the strength of the works is in the numbers”. Thousand and thousand of vacant posts in our department are not being filled up. On the other hand, in every months employees are getting retired. So, the nos. of Postal employees are decreasing day by day. As a result, our ability to build up resistance against the govt. policies is diminishing. Again, if 35% women are not actively involved in the day-to-day functioning of the organisation, how can we expect the organisation to be strong as the time demands? But in this pro-capitalist country and patriarchal society it is not easy to unite the women and bring them in forefront of organisation. After finishing office work and then returning to home the women have to handle all family responsibilities, which men practically don't have to do. But still we have to go on taking sincere efforts for bringing the women actively in organisation and also establish them in leadership whenever possible. In last AIC of AIPEU Group 'C' held at Anandpur Sahib one resolution had been moved and unanimously adopted that right from Divisional Union to Circle and all India Union every when we must take sincere initiative to include at least one comrade as office bearer. But how it is possible even though leadership is serious, but women don't come forward. Even in a section of women there is an idea, belief that they lag behind the man and they are habituated to think their only duty is to take care of their family. There is also a mindset among women that it is only the men who are only responsible for all their problems and subjugation. Here in lies the importance of Women convention where women can open up about their problems. Again, from the leadership's statement, they can understand that it is not the individual man, but the patriarchal society as dictated by feudalistic concept has been relegating them and depriving of their equal rights. In this way they get a feeling that they are able and efficient enough not only in family or office works but also in organisation too. They can feel that men are not their enemy, their enemy is patriarchal society, feudal and Capitalist ideology. If we look at the socialist countries, we will see how the women of these countries are valued as like men in every spheres of life.
However, in the organized sector with strong organisation and struggle, employees in govt. offices, regardless of men and women are relatively better, but in the unorganized sectors, the situation in dire. Here all workers are deprived of minimum wages, job security and social security etc. But here the women are suffering worst. Here Women get less wages than that of men for the same work. This is exploitation based on gender. So, women are exploited in two days. One due to class-division and another due to gender difference. Moreover, in convention they can further learn how the present ruling class divided the working class in the name of religion, caste, gender etc. From this lesson, they find the necessity of united class struggle irrespective of men and women.
So being conscious of the society they get a feeling to take some responsibility. But spontaneously it does not happen. It is the role of the main organisation to bring the capable women in forefront of organisation and there by strengthening the organisation as a whole. We hope for the best in future. We dream of a society where except biological difference, there will no other differences in between men and women. Complete parity, equality will be there. For these, the entire working class has to carry forward continuous struggle against feudal and capitalist society.
In our Department let us (under NFPE) observe this day everywhere in a befitting manner.