8 & 9|March| International Women`s Day Seminar and Rally

International Women’s Day

Come, walk with us… To light a torch of peace in the darkness of violence To sow the seeds of love and weed out the roots of hate To sing the rain-song of compassion in the barrenness of cruelty To guard our pride, to wipe out oppression… Come, walk with us, the women on the march…

On the occasion of International Women`s Day, Seminar, Women in Black silent protest and A Mammoth rally On March 7 and 8, 2015 in Bengaluru.

Come, Join us in thousands..

Karnataka State Forum Against Atrocities on Women was formed with the dream of building a vibrant and democratic society by like-minded women’s organizations and civil society groups who keep their faith in the principles of equality, social justice, democracy and secularism. The organization is committed to bringing together women in the spirit of sisterhood and fight injustice.

Marching, we remember old battles… The tale of atrocities on women is an ancient one, but so is the tale of the brave fight against atrocities. Stories from our history, when women stood up against atrocities, against all odds is our inspiration. We are celebrating Women’s Day this year in memory of Savitri bai Phule, the crusader of social justice and women’s rights and the first woman teacher of India. Marching, we seek our rights, question inequalities… Today government schools are being shut down even as education is being projected as a fundamental right.

Funds under MNREGA are being cut even as they talk of women’s empowerment. Large sections of women are being pushed to contractual work in the name of liberalization. Nearly 92.3 percent of people work in the unorganized sector as garment workers, construction workers, anganwadi helpers, pourakarmikas, domestic workers, street vendors and agricultural labourers. They contribute 60 per cent of the gross domestic product but work, without minimum wages, weekly holiday or even basic facilities like toilets, in the constant fear of being removed from their jobs at will by their employers. They are struggling for even basic livelihood needs like food and shelter with no promise of wage rise in keeping with escalating cost of living. Though there are laws to prevent harassment on streets, workplace and in homes, women continue to face it continually. There are also dangerous amendments being contemplated to women-centric legislations, such as punishing the woman complainant if it is proved in the courts that it is false. Money reserved for spending on women, dalits and tribals are being returned to the exchequer without being spent. Budget for health, employment and education are being cut year after year. While pourakarmikas continue to live in misery cleaning the garbage with bare hands in these tech-savvy time, tech companies owned by multi-millionaires continue to get big subsidies and tax concessions from the government. Marching, we demand a share in power… In the present context power vested not with the people but with a few who loot the natural resources and oppress people with impunity.

That is precisely why political parties of all affiliations are coming in the way of giving political representation to women. Political power is not about concentrating power in a few hands. It ought to be is something that is meant for the larger good of people. Women have a definite role in evolving a power structure of this nature. Marching, we want to end the cycle of violence… * An oppressive power structure and the absence of a political will to bring about change * A market economy that makes salable products and working machines of women; that loots the resources of people with its warped model of development * Patriarchy that fails to see the woman as a partner and reduces her to a slave * Religious fanaticism that believes that suppressing women forms the core of religion. The coming together of all these forces is making the oppression and violence against women more intense by the day. The nature of violence is not only becoming more complex, but also more commonplace. Moral policing, honour killing, khap panchayats and the like have turned women into pawns for religious and caste one-upmanship and cruelty. The absence of a healthy adolescent education programme has also resulted in warped notions about the sexes and sexuality, leading to more cases of sexual assault and exploitation. The need to be united to face up to the politics of hate resulting from a combination of greed, casteism, patriarchy and religious fanaticism is more urgent than ever before. Life-threatening politics of hate can only be countered by life-sustaining models of political struggle. The women of this land are marching today to welcome thousands of girls who are born defying foeticide, to nurture their young minds, to create an awareness that no society can be healthy without ending exploitation and to build a society of equal opportunities and fellow-living….

Come, walk with us… To light a torch of peace in the darkness of violence To sow the seeds of love and weed out the roots of hate To sing the rain-song of compassion in the barrenness of cruelty To guard our pride, to wipe out oppression… Come, walk with us, the women on the march… Details of the Women’s Day programme

1. Seminar on `Rape & Atrocity on Women: Caste, Class, Gender and Religion Perspectives’ in association with the National Law School of India on March 7, 2015 at 10 a.m. At Senate Hall, Central College.

2. Awareness programmes, pamphlet distribution and fund collection programmes in and around the schools and colleges in Bengaluru. `Women in Black’ protests through the week in the evenings. A massive `Women in Black’ programme on March 7. Venue to be confirmed.

3. Jaatha from Freedom Park-Majestic to Malleshwaram Playground on March 8 at 10 a.m. followed by public function. Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Karamchari Sangh President Rasheeda Bi and Secretary Champadevi Shukla are also participating in the programme.

Our demands

* A model of women’s political reservation that provides adequate representation to women of all sections of society. A programme to foster women’s leadership in political parties and people’s organizations.

* Like food and education, employment is also the right of every citizen. Women are entitled to jobs and wages in accordance with their skills.

* End to rape and violence against women in the name of caste, class, religion, race, war and terrorism. Women should not be used as pawns of violence and counter-violence.

* The mandatory 33 percent gender budgeting should be strictly followed. There should be a mechanism to ensure that money allocated is not misdirected or sent back.

* Female foeticide, acid attack, child marriage, sale of children and rape on women and children should be stopped. There should be a good model of adolescent education. A mindset where women are seen as equal partners in the institution of marriage and family should be fostered.

* Regressive policies, such as mandatory permission of husband or father for foreign travel of women, should be put an end to. If the permission of partner is mandatory, it should be equally applicable to men. * Woman should have equal right to the property of husband/partner. The honorarium fixed for home makers for house-keeping should be enhanced.

* All anti-women, anti-labour, anti-dalit and anti-tribal people legislations should be amended. Nomadic tribes should be given all constitutional rights due to them.

* Mindless escalation of the fares of public transport should be stopped. Women’s protection should be an area of priority.

* Pourakarmikas should be given living wages, better working and living conditions. Their jobs should be made permanent. Sanitation work should be fully mechanized and untouchability should end.

* Garment workers, domestic workers, construction workers and anganwadi helpers and other unorganised sector workers should get living wages and healthy working conditions.

* Criminalization of sex work should end and those in sex work and their children should have access to medical facilities, education, jobs and other facilities. Trafficking of women and children should end. * Exploitation and human rights violation of sexual minorities should end.

* Privatisation of mid-day meal should end and women involved in it should have job security and adequate wages.

* Land Acquisition Ordinance that threatens to rob the livelihoods of farmers by taking away their lands by force should be dropped.

* Eviction of street vendors should stop and their trade should be legalized.

* Corporatization and privatization of education, health and other public sector enterprises should stop. It should be run by government or on co-operative models.

* Exploitation of workers day and night in the corporate sector should end. with us:

Manasa balaga, Vimochana – Forum for Women’s Rights, Women’s voice, Mahila Dourjanya Virodhi Vedike, Mangalore, Mysore Jilla Mahila Mattu Pragathipara Sanghatanegala oakkoota, Spandana, Mahila Munnade, Garment and Textile Workers Union, Garments Mahila Karmikara Munnade, Sadhana Mahila Sangha, Vimochana Sangha, Athani, Janavaadi Mahila Sanghatane, AIMSS, Karnataka Lekhakiyara Sangha, Karnataka Rajya Dalit Mahila okkoota, All India Progressive Women’s Association, National Federation of Indian Women, Bharatiya Mahila okkoota, Karnataka Dalita Mahila Vedike, Athyachara Virodhi Pracharandolana, Manini, Garments Labour Union, Munnade Samajika Sanghatane, Stree Jagruthi Samithi, Charaka Mahila Vividhoddesh Sangha, Bhimanakone Heggodu, SABALA Samste Vijayapura, Sakhi Samsthe Hospete, Kavalakki Mahila Sanghatane, PUCL – Karnataka, SFI, DYFI, Karnataka Rajya Dalit Sangharsh Samiti, Karnataka Dalita Sangharsha Samiti Ambedkar vaada, Samatha Sainika Dala, Karnataka Laingika Alpa sankyathara Vedike, Karnataka Laingika Karmikara Union, Sangama, Karnataka Vidhyarthi Sanghtane, Alternative Law Forum (ALF), Dalit Bahujana Chaluvali, AISF, AIYF, Abhimatha, Aneka, Jeeva, Ondede, Swarajya Samudaya Sanghatane, Youth Empowered in Action for Humanity, Radio Active, Praja Rajakiya Vedike, Sanchaya Nele, Vistar, Jana sahayoga, Tarikita Kala Kammata, Samvaada, BJBS, North East Solidarity, Alemari Budakattu Mahasabha, Bangalore Bus Prayanikara Vedike, Beedhi Vyaparigala Sanghatane, Slum Janandolana Samithi, Pourakarmikara Sanghatane, ISI, United Theological College- Women’s Wing, Bahula Janavedike, Manthan Law, Payana, Samajavadi Jana Parishad, Karnataka Janashakthi, Karnataka Komu Sowhardha Vedike, Fedina, Forum for Workers Right, Bhoomtayi Balaga, Doddaballapura, Bayalu Balaga, Pedestrian Pictures, AICCTU, Dr. RamaManohara Lohiya Samatha Vidyalaya, SWWAC – A Facebook Group, SAMARA, Karnataka Garment Workers Union, Akhila Karnataka Kattada Karmikara Union, Retired Un-organised Sector Union, Domestic Workers Union, Aikyatha and all other like minded people.

Contact Numbers: Du. Saraswathi : 9482642147 Vani Periodi : 9448481340 Vimochana : 080-25492781 and 82 Savitha A. : 9448367333 Akhila Vidyasandra : 9448758617 Prabha Belavangal : 9980787426 Pushpa : 9448105678 Gouri : 8971232329 Gouti : 080-26745242 Sumana, Mysore : 9448177117 Sabhiha Bhoomigowda: 9448696898 H.S.Pushpa : 9980913844 H.S.Anupama : 9480211320