Karnataka government sends women back where they belong

Further Update: Well, earlier I thought the minister had overstepped himself and shot off his mouth. Looks like not. This retrograde move is being followed through seriously. Fellow Blogger Abhipraya updates that the government is actually getting the law amended to allow this monstrosity to pass.

My original post

So the Karnataka government (under whose jurisdiction I live, unfortunately), has decided that women will not be allowed to work night shifts, except in sectors such as ITES and hospitals. The ban is likely to come into effect from July. Now, this is the government, which stood by helpless as the city came to a halt after actor Rajkumar’s death, and which allowed a traffic light on top of a flyover. So one should not be surprised at any level of incompetency.

Still, the assumptions behind the move made my blood boil, when I read the headlines today. The streets are unsafe for women who work late at night. Bingo, put the women back where they belong, inside the four walls of home. Talk about punishing the victim. The move proposes that employers should either provide transport for women working late shifts, or move the women to other shifts, and if neither is possible, oh, ofcourse, they have to quit. Cos they are women, you see, they cant possibly need these jobs.

If the government is so worried about the safety of women, why not place the onus on the employers and make a night drop for all workers mandatory? And this can apply to men too. There have been enough cases of men being mugged and murdered on roads. How about taking the focus away from moral policing and shutting down bars at 11.30? These policemen could be deployed to make our roads safer. How about increasing the police strength in the first place? Everyone knows our police are horribly understaffed. Given more manpower, they will probably do a much better job. How about allowing private operators to run minibuses/vans? If smart operators see a market for transporting night-time workers, they will run vehicles. Today, there is no night-time public transport to speak of, when the government has a monopoly on it.

Ofcourse, implementing any of these will take time, money and work. All of which the government is reluctant to spend. In the meanwhile, you women, just stay at home and do us all a favor, will you!

Note: For those of you who insist that it is indeed unsafe for women, yes, thank you, we know that. Let individual women decide if the benefits outweight the risks to them. Or ofcourse the government can intervene in any number of other ways, as mentioned above. There are also a number of other jobs, which are extremely hazardous to men – working in mines, ship-breaking yards. No one suggests that these dangerous jobs should be outlawed, cos, gasp there are men working in these jobs, who need them



  1. Hi Apu

    I am glad you feel the same way about this issue! Me and a couple of friends of mine have been breaking our heads over the weekend as to what can be done about this crazy suggestion. Now it turns out the minister was just shooting his mouth off. But what does one do in case such a thing is implemented? I am curious about what you think?


  2. That is the problem ! A number of letters to the editor in newspapers show people actually supporting this idea, saying idiotic things like, this will help women focus at home. If they are not interested, let them not work late. I don’t see how they can force others !

    If its implemented, I guess we can only go for protests with like-minded groups…

  3. I am so sad to hear about the Minister’s stupid suggestion. So, whats next? Some women are victims of their own husbands and in-laws, so does that mean they should not marry? What about people who die in road accidents, should we walk to whereever we want to be. But, then pedestrians are also killed in some accidents. Does the minister wants us to fly. This is such a BS. And I’m more amazed that there are people supporting his idea. God help this country.

  4. Saheli, yeah – taken to the extreme logical conclusion, thats what it should amount to, not let anyone interact with anybody else, since everyone (men and women) face the threat of harassment, violence somewhere or the other !

  5. I cant believe how incredibly stupid these people are. Instead of coming up with improvements to the existing infrastructure, public safety , transportation – they have the balls to proclaim that women should stay home. Absolutely ridiculous. Argh!! It agitates me SO much when I read such things.

    rather than gang up outside the pubs, the policemen should be patrolling the streets and *preventing* any crime – Oh, but I forget, they are the ones that actually commit the crimes as well.

  6. Today’s DH says the law has been ammended. God save us!


  7. This is ridiculous. Gradually the feeling is as though we are moving to a totalitarian state 😦

  8. […] Initially you made meek noises about safety, and it is for your own protection etc. Now you have see… Safety? Blah, not good enough a reason to ban women from working. Indian culture? Voila! Thats what it is. Indian culture prescribed that all good Indian women must stay at home except when allowed to go out on life-saving errands (hospital workers etc), or when the money they bring in is too much. (IT/BT/ ITES etc). In all other cases, they must be home post 8. […]

  9. […] the demands made in the name of traditional values, are always made on women. Too much crime? Hey, those women should be at home, looking after their families. How about preserving some of our old ways? Why don’t these women wear saris? Never mind if […]

  10. the opportunities of women for their empowerment should not curbed, rather safety environment needs to be improved. creche facilities with nursing care , food and planned games,play time for their children to be provlided. this is all the more essential when boasts of culture and are for the same all over the world.

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