The Scheduled Caste Women Leaders were far ahead in their thinking than the Savarna women and many of current women should thank them for landmark decisions such as divorce, polygamy, education, leave entitlement, etc taken for their upliftment that has an impact even today.
Again, feel proud of our achievements! We are proud of Dalit-Bahujan women who not only supported but equally participated in the movement for equal rights, equal opportunities and set forth the ways for better conditions for women society.
Sharing some details here (from the Report of the Depressed Classes Conference for all/women/Samta Sainik Dal)
The Resolutions passed in the All-India Depressed Classes Women Conference in Nagpur, 1942
- That this conference heartily supports all the resolutions passed at the 3rd “All India Depressed Classes Conference” held at Nagpur on 19th July.
- That this Conference resolves that the rights of women in our society give divorce to their husbands be recognised by law and to facilitate this conference requests the Government and the leaders of the society to make necessary changes in the law.
- That this conference abhors the idea of polygamy existing in our society as being unjust to the women and therefore requests the Government to make necessary amends or changes in the law to check or modify the custom.
- That this conference, resolves that for the betterment of the economic condition, the right of the female workers in the Mills, Bidi factories, Municipalities and Railways be recognised as under:
(a) Entitlement of 21 days of Casual Leave
(b) In the case of death, accident, or injury to these workers on duty, an adequate compensation be given to them or to their children
(c) That a pension of at least Rs. 15 pm be given to them on the completion of their work for 20 years and request the Government to make necessary provision in the law for this
- (a) That this conference opines that the percentage of education amongst the females in Depressed classes is very low. It requests the Govt that in each province the Provincial Govt should run at its own expense hostels of at least 100 girl students in every Province
(b) Each Provincial Govt should give freeships and Scholarships to such students of the Depressed Classes for secondary and college education
(c) Requests all Provincial governments in the country immediately to take steps to enforce compulsory primary education by law amongst them
- That in many of the Mills it is observed that male supervisors are appointed to supervise the work of female workers. Requests the Central Government to make necessary provision to appoint lady supervisors in their stead
- Seats be reserved for the Depressed Classes in all spheres seats be reserved for the Depressed Classes females and they be taken on the legislatures.
- That this conference resolves that an All-India Scheduled Caste Women’s Federation be established and to carry on its work, a fund be raised.
— From Vinay Shende
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