Over the last one year, the Delhi State Committee of the AIDWA has been mobilising Home Based Women Workers of Delhi for their recognition and rights as workers who are making a contribution to the economy. The Arjun Sengupta Committee Report estimates their number to be nearly 8 crores in our country. The working class areas of Delhi are teaming with women who do piece rate work through contractors in order to supplement their meagre family incomes.
On 3rd March 2009, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the International Women's Day, over a 1000 home based women workers assembled on parliament street demanding immediate relief from the adverse affects of the economic crisis through immediate social security measures. Women from different working class areas of Delhi gave an account of their work conditions and challenges.
A state wide survey and signature campaign was undertaken by the AIDWA. Our experience and hard facts reveal that home based women workers are facing both wage cuts as well as job losses over the past several months. Over 40% of the women surveyed by us had faced wage cuts. After working for nearly 7 hours a day along with other family members, especially children, the home based workers in delhi manage to earn only Rs 32.45 per day, whereas the daily minimum wage for unskilled workers in Delhi is Rs 140. They get work for an average of only 16 days in a month.
The Report on the Condition of Work of Home Based Women Workers of Delhi was released by Sudha Sundararaman, Gen. Secy of AIDWA.
Brinda Karat, Rajya Sabha MP, addressed the gathering and said that the UPA government has been taking measures only to provide relief to the big business in times of economic crisis. However, it has failed to take any step to provide relief to vast sections of the impoverished workforce who are facing the brunt of this crisis in our country today.
The Survey Report is placed here.