Campaign will reach out to all constituencies in Tamil Nadu
GN Bureau | March 5, 2014
‘Women's Coalition for Change’ has come out with a Women’s Manifesto for the parliamentary elections. The manifesto, released to the media on February 27, was prepared through a consultative process with the views of grassroots women representing different sectors – dalit, Irular, nomads, tribal, fisher folk, women forced into sex work, Mathamma (prostitution through religious sanction), transgender, agriculture workers, washer community (Puthirai Vannar), Muslim women and women with disabilities.
The manifesto demands:
A violence-free society, Genuine Agrarian Reforms, Women's Right to Land, Equal opportunity for girl child and women in Education including technical education, employment, economic upliftment. Women's control over natural resources, land and livelihood with food security and sovereignty and sustainable agriculture practices. The demand for adequate Gender Budgets with women friendly schemes properly implemented to achieve Gender Equality as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Women oppose FDI, WTO’s AOA, the western policies on Climate Change which continue to exploit and destroy the natural resources of developing countries and forcing non-sustainable agriculture practices (GE). We condemn the conversion of agriculture land for commercial and industry which is displacing and destroying women’s livelihoods. We demand for changes in the National Food Security Bill and the BPL lists which have deprived the actual marginalized and subjugated sections of the community.
We will not support candidates who do not respect the dignity of women, who are patriarchal, feudal, with criminal background, history of Gender Based Violence and have instigated communal and caste based violence.
Specific sections of women demand:
• Dalit women demand land and resources
• Washer folk women demand caste certificate
• Sanitary workers demand job skill training so that they can come out of their caste based occupation.
• Nomadic community demands Tribal status
• Transgender demand non-discrimination, opportunity for education and employment.
• Fisher folk women demand housing and protection of their traditional livelihoods.
• Women in sex work demand recognition as equal citizens and opportunities for education and employment.
• Women with disabilities demand that the Disabilities Bill should incorporate a human and gender just perspective and be implemented accordingly.
• Muslim women demand equal opportunity for education and employment.
We have decided to support such candidates who will fully adopt our demands as made in the Women's Manifesto. The Women's Coalition for Change- Election manifesto campaign will be carried out in all 39 constituencies in all 30 districts of Tamil Nadu, lobbying and advocating with the major political parties to adopt the women's Demands in their Party Manifestoes which are gender blind.
Every year since 2000, February 21 is observed as International Mother Language Day by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). It is to celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity, and multilingualism.
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