#MeToo is a scream for help as well as a call to action — by women from all walks of life, united in their demand to end rape culture in general and sexual harassment at workplace in particular. The #MeToo tracker is a collation of all the names that have been accused of sexual harassment so far in India in the wake of the 2018 movement.
The rare sight that Delhi witnessed on September 5, with workers, peasants and the farmers marching decisively demanding a fair share in the growing economy of the country, is a cry for help. They are demanding implementation of MSP in accordance with the Swaminathan Committee report, irrigation facility as well as loan waivers. Workers are demanding better conditions and salaries. But it’s also a war cry. The present ruling government has been sent an ultimatum before the 2019 general elections. Will things change?
This part analyses the judicial biases manifest in legalising the ‘gender’ wage gap through perverse logic that has held patriarchal inequalities as the ‘intelligible’ differentia for ‘reasonable’ classification to premise further inequality in treatment and work/service conditions. It critically analyses the jurisprudence in this regard so far and leaves us pining as we often do, for nothing short of normative, structural overhauls in society to bolster law enforcement.
This is a two-part series on the sociological and legal analysis demystifying the ‘gender’ wage gap, so ubiquitous and normalised in all sectors of the economy, that it rarely witnesses the holistic critical engagement it merits to uncover its sociological, cultural and legal aspects beyond the litany of outrageous statistics. We need to look at how voicing of women’s professional ambition almost unequivocally always backfires as obnoxious ‘self-promotion’, even as men scale ladders of success amidst generous acknowledgement for their ‘negotiation skills’ and ‘networking’.
Are ‘chores’ merely useful tasks that must remain unpaid and unintegrated in the economy because they are by nature different from conventional definition of work? Or, trying to point out a difference between work and chores is an exercise in creating a false binary? Read the first ‘Leaflet debate’.
Women’s struggle through history has been to have access to what has been systematically denied to them for centuries. This purpose is defeated if we argue merely that women should work because it benefits the economy. The struggle is about equality, liberty and justice; about claiming what is rightfully theirs.