Balance for Better: A Stocktaking by Women’s Networks in Tamil Nadu

A one-day meeting on the theme Balance for Better was held in ICSA, Chennai on 5 March 2019 in connection with the theme of the international women’s day. A total of 113 participants (62 women and 37 men) took part, including ten women resource persons and four HRF team members. They were from 55 organisations from 19 of 33 districts of the state.

Proposed Charter of Demands

  1. Decentralise gender-based budget. Make district- and panchayat wise gender budget in addition to the state level.
  2. Set-up gender-based cells in each district.
  3. Collect and make available data on socio-economic conditions of weaker sections.
  4. Focus on the intersectionality of gender (women from communities within scheduled castes and women in persons with disability) and their needs should be priorities.
  5. Include vulnerable sections in the Tamil Nadu government gender budgeting.
  6. Ensure women’s voice in planning especially in the departments of planning, social welfare, health, labour, rural development, Adidravidar, BC & OBC, and women and child welfare.
  7. Data on people with various disabilities should be recorded.
  8. General insurance should be provided for disabled persons.
  9. Caretaker allowance should be given to the caretakers of persons with disability.
  10. Accessibility in buildings and transports should be ensured for the mobility of the person with disability.
  11. A specific national and state law should be enacted for the protection and welfare of domestic workers.
  12. Ratify the ILO convention on domestic workers.
  13. Initiate a pension scheme for the domestic workers.
  14. Introduce schemes for the economic upliftment for the fishing women.
  15. Issue permanent title deeds (Patta) for the fishing villages.
  16. Reserve a separate constituency for the fishing community.