Labour reforms: Congress even turns anti-women for the sake of opposing Modi

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The Congress, with its paltry contingent of 44 MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha, has made opposition for its sake against the Narendra Modi government a routine practice. The party, which has resorted to all forms of drama in the Lower House in an effort to target the Modi administration, has now opposed permitting women to work in factories at night because of security reasons. It has done so to oppose the Factories Amendment Bill recently tabled in Lok Sabha to relax the earlier bar on employing women in factories in the night, between 7 pm and 6 am.

Concern for women's safety

The Congress has echoed the Leftists who have always been against employing women in the night shifts, asserting that the ambience in factories are not much suited for women's safety.

Why this double standard?

The Congress's stand is a classic example of double standards. It was the grand-old party which had initiated reforms in India's economy but now, owing to some unknown reasons, is found taking stand which is discriminatory against the women workforce. Congress spokesperson and head of the party's women wing Shobha Oza even said that the security situation in the factories is not like the BPO sector where security of women employees is duly addressed.

It is important to improve women's safety than deny them jobs

True, the safety situation for Indian women is not the best at the moment. Frequent instances of sexual crime against women of all age groups have led to serious repercussions on the Indian society but does that mean that we completely stop women from going out of their houses for work? If the women employees are vulnerable in the night, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure their safety. If the information technology sector can show the way by ensuring a tight security for the women employees, why can't other sectors follow suit?

Congress backed women as president and speaker in the past: Why this stand now?

It is also shocking that the Congress, which is led by a woman and also chose India's first woman president and speaker of the Lok Sabha, takes such a hypocritical stand just to make its opposition count vis-a-vis Narendra Modi's government. If the Congress is so concerned about the safety of women, then wasn't it a better way to pressurise the government to improve the safety measures instead of advising scrapping work opportunities for the women in the night? Several women work in the night to support their families. Throwing them out of job will be an act of great discrimination, don't Rahul Gandhi and his party know that?

If India is aspiring to make advancements as a modern and global economy, then it can not close the doors on its women force, irrespective of the shift timings. If a prejudiced mindset leaves the law and order situation in jeopardy, then it will ultimately the economy which will suffer.

The current government has rightly argued that relaxing the night shift bar on women will give a fillip to the workforce and to help manufacturing and businesses sector for which women are suitable. The thinking is clear. Why oppose it unnecessarily?

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