Mumbai Port workshop
Women's issues take centre stage at
A workshop designed to address the specific needs of women working in Indian ports has gone ahead in Mumbai.
The All India Port and Dock Workers' Federation (AIPDWF) organised the one day event with the objective of identifying the issues and problems being dealt with by women employees not only at a local level in Mumbai but also at a national level throughout India.
Oner hundred and twenty women attended the workshop, taking part in discussions about their most pressing workplace issues. Top of the list of concerns were the ability to take leave to handle childcare arrangements and flexi-time. Women employees also raised concerns about the lack of proper dedicated women's rest rooms and toilet facilities in port premises. In addition there was a call for the enhancement of medical leave for women undergoing hysterectomy operations.
Workshop participants also called for the provision of education classes covering issues like wage revision and health and safety.
AIPDWF secretary and programme coordinator Kalpana Desai said: "These women participants were upfront about the issues which are of greatest importance to them. Women are the future of the workforce in India and beyond, and it was really important to recognise that by giving them the chance to tell the union about their specific problems. As workers, women and men share a lot of the same concerns, of course, but there are issues which only affect women, or affect them more than men – we have to make provision for that and make sure that women feel protected and catered for in the workplace."
Desai, who is also the ITF dockers' section ports of convenience (POC) coordinator for India, continued: "There's been a commitment from our union to make these issues priority in Mumbai and beyond and that's a very good thing for women workers."
Find out more about the ITF POC work programme or the global network terminal operators (GNT) campaign to raise health and safety standards in ports worldwide.