Srinagar: Asserting that men and women are equal and can work together in shaping the world, senior Communist Party of India (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Monday alleged that despite all the talk of women empowerment the reality is that government itself undervalues women in our country.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Mr Tarigami said that while celebrating women’s achievements and increasing visibility, calling out inequality, is the key.
Amid the challenging times, the perfect way to celebrate the day is to remind everybody that all men and women are equal and can work together in shaping the world. Focusing on women’s issues and empowerment is what we should strive for, he said.
The origin of International Women’s Day lies in the struggles of women workers against their exploitative working conditions and to assert their rights and this struggle continues to this day. Despite all the talk of ‘women’s empowerment’ by the government, the reality is that the government itself undervalues women’s work in our country.
The lakhs of women employed by the Government of India (GoI) in its various schemes, like the anganwadi workers and helpers of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme, the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) of the National Health Mission (NHM) or the midday meal workers – all of whom cook and feed women and children, take care of their health – are not even recognised as workers and are paid a measly amount as ‘honorarium’ or ‘incentive’.
In addition, India is one of the countries where the wage gap between men and women performing the same jobs, is very high. On an average, women are paid only two thirds of the wages paid to men.