SocietyNews Feminist News Wrap – Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill, Dalit Asmita Yatra and Irom Sharmila Ends Fast

Feminist News Wrap – Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill, Dalit Asmita Yatra and Irom Sharmila Ends Fast

Feminist news from around the country in one wrap.

Women At Work

The Delhi Transport Corporation plans to hire women drivers for its huge fleet of buses. Currently, it has just one woman driver, and as per rules formulated for hiring female drivers, the maximum age limit for female applicants is 40 years as against 35 years for male applicants. It will also not be mandatory for women applicants to have a heavy motor vehicles licence to apply for recruitment.

After the Rajya Sabha passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, granting 26 weeks of paid maternity leave, as against the 12 weeks that is currently being offered, the Labour Ministry will be writing to the states for discussing ways to provide this benefit to women working in unorganised sector. Also, activists advocate paternity leave.

Politicians & Misogyny

Inmates of After Care Home, a facility meant for rehabilitation of girls above the age of 18 who were either abandoned by their parents or lost their families early in life, at Nirmal Chhaya Complex, west Delhi, have been forced to give away their cell phones on the orders of Delhi’s Social Welfare Minister Sandeep Kumar. Apparently, “the girls don’t need them since they don’t have family.”

In yet another case of insensitive Indian politicians, Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary said, “rape to chalte hi rehte hain.”

Rape Case Updates

Bulandshahr Rape Case: The minor, who was raped by gang of dacoits in Bulandshahr, has moved the Supreme Court asking for the case to be investigated under the top court’s supervision and be transferred to New Delhi. She also seeks an FIR against Azam Khan, Samajwadi Party leader for his insensitive remarks, and has also sought action against erring officers.

Asaram Bapu, who is currently being being held for rape chargeswas denied interim bail by the Supreme Court last week.

Other News

Rs 200 crore has been allocated by the central government for the Nirbhaya Fund to provide compensation to women and child victims of sexual crimes, in order to reduce disparity in quantum of compensation amount notified by different states and UTs for victims of crimes. We hope this sum is used instead of just lying allotted on paper. 

In Andhra Pradesh, Two Dalits were attacked by eight persons on suspicion that they had stolen a cow and were skinning it. Continuing the discussion about “gau rakshaks”, it is important to read this article on how cow vigilantes flourished under CM Modi in Gujarat.

As the Dalit Asmita Yatra is underway in Gujarat, two days before the culmination of the yatra in Una, in Samter village of Gir district, the local dominant & upper caste community attacked the local Dalit community, who took out a bike rally in support of the Dalit Asmita Yatra. Keep following Dalit Camera, for live updates on the yatra.

According to the response to an RTI, it is now revealed that Arvind Kejriwal, ever since he assumed office as Chief Minister of Delhi, never called a meeting either on the law and order situation or on the safety and security of women in the national capital.

After being on fast for 16 years against the Armed Forces Special Privileges Act in Manipur, she tasted honey to symbolically end her fast last week. She intends to contest in Manipur.

What We’re Reading

Why Dalit women are marching towards Una: An interview with Manjula Pradeep

The business of rape videos – and how it is more to do with humiliating victims than making money.

Why has PM Modi not congratulated the Magsaysay Award winners – when apparently he also “wants to end manual scavenging” and awardee Bezwada Wilson received the award for his efforts to eradicate manual scavenging.

Goa’s civil code shows that uniformity does not always mean equality. 

This Week In FII

What does the Mental Health Care Bill mean for persons with mental illness?

Indie video games, women gamers and feminism – where do we stand?

Responses From Trans & Intersex Communities On the Transgender Rights Bill 2016.

7 times media coverage of Rio Olympics was sexist.

Featured Image Credit: Irom Sharmila tasting honey to end her fast |

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