Panaji: Women activists on Saturday welcomed the Goa government’s decision to approve an amendment to the Factories Act, which will allow the deployment of members of the sex in night shifts in industries.
The amendment was approved this week by the State cabinet and is set to be tabled during the next Assembly session.
“This is a welcome step towards women empowerment taken by the State government, especially deputy chief minister Vijai Sardesai (also factories minister). It will give trouble free space to women to excel in their careers,” said Auda Viegas, president, Bailancho Ekvott, an NGO working for women and children in Goa.
Addressing a press conference in Margao town of South Goa, Viegas said the move will help members of the sex get more jobs.
Writer-activist Jyoti Cuncolienkar called it a “revolutionary step” and expressed hope that it would bring about equality at the workplace.
How safe are women working in night shifts?
An article in SafeCity titled “Safety of women night workers in India” says, “Working at nights has been a trend lately in India for both for men and women. But recently a lot of cases have been occurring that are posing a great threat to the security of women.”
“According to the National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB) reports, out of 15,556 cases, the women molested were between the age group of 18 and 30 years in 2013. It has been found that women working during nights are no way safe; neither on roads, neither in public transports that are provided to them at their respective workplaces.”
“Even in workplaces, women always pose a threat of facing sexual harassments. For example, the nurses working in night shifts are always on the risky side of getting molested and still, nothing much is done to relieve them from their plight. A decline of 10% in the women labour force was observed in the year 2005. In the year 2014, the participation of women in the labour force was hardly 27% which is indeed a matter of regret for the nation. Almost 53% of women working at nights live in fear of their safety.”