November 17 - International Students Day
Decision for Life Campaign Event
Venue: Sri Sri Centre of Media Studies, Bangalore

Organised by UNITES Professionals in cooperation with Paycheck India Project At IIM-A, ITUC, UNI, and WageIndicator Foundation


Decisions For Life ” Campaign team held an event on 17th November - International Student's Day at Sri Sri Centre of Media Studies, Bangalore.

It was a small workshop for Post Graduate students who were primarily provided with information related to Women Rights, Labour Issues and Career Planning. We also had a chance to give them information related to ILO conventions and the Decision for Life project.

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The event started up with the self introduction by students who are pursuing their M.A. in Women Studies and also few Post Graduates.

Importance of International Student's Day:

Later, Ms.Harini Kashi spoke about the importance of International Student's Day. All the participants maintained two minutes silence to those who have lost their lives in protest.

Decisions For Life Project presentation:

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Decisions For Life presentation was given by Ms. Satarupa (Campaign member). Participants were given in depth details about the project and its objectives. She explained how every campaign is involved in raising awareness on adoscelent young women workers and job seekers.

This project was officially launched on 7th October 2009 on World Day for Decent Work. Decisions For Life targets women in the age group of 18-35 in 8 major occupational groups call centre operators, travel agencies, receptionist in hotel, bookkeepers, housekeepers, secretaries, IT Programmers, Sales persons and cashiers in retail. This project aims to support these women in making informed decisions as the expectations from this target group are economic, professional, and social.

Presentation on Women Rights, Labor Issues & Career Planning:

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Dr.Sreemathi, H.O.D of Women Studies Department at NMKRV College for women, spoke about women rights and labor laws. She gave an interesting and motivating talk on enforcing and expressing women's rights.

She said “What is gender gap? Is it man-made or does it vary culture to culture?  Women do not have their own rights because we are insecure, submissive and shy. We cannot talk about women rights when we are trapped in gender expectations, they need to know what they want, and they are held back because of reproduction. Women rights can be understood only when there is a conceptualization of understanding on gender.”

She also explained that “women rights need to be addressed in the larger context of equality especially in the context of equality especially in the context of women rights and labor then one need to know about the feminist debates on equality.”

Women need special treatment and should be focused primarily on pregnancy and maternity, being biological functions which men cannot perform. Under biological differences women operate under different constraints to men, and to treat them as the same would severely disadvantage them, but under equality approach, more would be gained as a whole if difference is ignored and women would be allowed to bring themselves up to the level of men in respect. Many feminist have pointed out that in both these approaches men are norm against which women are presumed to be different or as equal. Women must understand their rights and their labor laws.

Presentation on ILO Conventions:

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Ms. Jennifer Springs gave an informative presentation on ILO Conventions. She told that “ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that deals with labor issues. The main goal is to establish and enforce International labour standards which take the form of either a convention or a recommendation. Unorganised sectors do not have labour laws. Examples of labour laws are sexual harassment, equal remuneration, workers compensation Act.”

She told that “all women in each and every country must understand their rights and their labour laws and realise how to enforce them.”

ILO conventions have been identified by the ILO Governing Body as being fundamental to the rights of human beings at work, strive freely for the improvement of individual and collective conditions at work. Convention is also important for the women like maternity leave, job security, and medical care. This issue of the Global Employment Trends for women looks at the gender aspects of the impact of the financial crisis and slowdown in world economic growth on jobs, and updates indicators on the situation of women in labour markets around the world.