Women want dignified, exploitation-free workEight years have passed since the Supreme Court issued a verdict and procedural guidelines to protect economic and sexual exploitation of women and girls working in the entertainment sector, also known as informal sector.
Eight years have passed since the Supreme Court issued a verdict and procedural guidelines to protect economic and sexual exploitation of women and girls working in the entertainment sector, also known as informal sector.
However, little has been done to improve their plight, and the women working in this sector are still knocking the government’s door demanding implementation of the Supreme Court’s verdict, formulation of specific laws to address their work problems and setting up minimum wage, among others.
They have also asked the authorities to recognise their profession as any other work sector.
“Thousands of women are involved in the entertainment sector. The best the authorities can do is formulate laws as per the Supreme Court directive to make it easy for these women to earn their living in a dignified manner without the risk of being exploited,” said Kabita Magar, president of Women for Women Forum, an organisation working for the rights of women working in informal sector.
In 2008, the Supreme Court had issued a verdict and procedural guidelines giving protection against economic and sexual exploitation to women in the entertainment sector, which include dance bars, cabin restaurants and massage parlours.
Many women who work in the sector say sexual exploitation, poor and irregular pay, and police harassment are common occurrences in their line of work.
Ranju Jha, chairperson of Women, Children and Social Welfare Committee of the Parliament, said they have started the groundwork to address the demands of the entertainment sector.
“We have started discussion in Parliament to formulate laws reading women working in the sector,” she said.