The Dravidar KazhagamWomen’s Conference convened on 17th December 2016 at Tiruvarur, Tamil Nadu passed 36 sizzling resolutions which were reminiscent of the Self Respect Conferences held in the 1920’s at initiatives of Periyar
50% Reservation for Women
This conference makes a stern demand to the central and the state governments to take necessary steps for reserving fifty percent posts in all the government departments and private institutions for women. It enjoins the central government to take steps to ensure proper representation for women in the appointment of judges for the high courts and the supreme court.
Resolution: 2 – 33% Reservation
Since 1996, the bill for the reservation of 33 per cent of seats for women in the legislatures and the parliament is being continually subverted and this conference expresses its censure to all the sections responsible for it. This conference beseeches all the parties concerned to get it passed in the present parliamentary session without further delay. It further insists that the act must also provide for necessary sub reservations. If the parties fail to do it, this conference issues a warning that it will be forced to collect women of all sections, particularly the student community, and launch a bitter struggle for getting it passed.
Resolution: 3 – Divorce Cases
This conference is of opinion that divorce should not be regarded as an act of guilt but must be viewed as part of ensuring women’s rights. It enjoins that the habit of prolonging such cases endlessly must be stopped and they must be decided within a period of three months, since unnecessary delay will end up in creating avoidable heart burn for the parties.
Child Bearing – The Right of Women
This conference feels that the decision for begetting children must be taken solely by the woman concerned and no room should be given for male domination.
Resolution : 5 – Attrocities against Women
Atrocities against women are increasing every day. According to the National Criminal Document, the increase is 12 per cent per year, which is extremely shameful. This conference enjoins the state and the central governments that the act against such crimes should not be mere paper, but must be provided with teeth and should be acted upon . And it enjoins the state and the central governments that more women should be posted in the selection of the police force which deals with these offences.
Resolution: 6 – Fall in the Number of Women
It is shocking that the ratio of women to men gets steadily decreased. Women indulge in female infanticide as readily as men. This conferences requests that feminist conferences be held in public, and announces that the women’s wing of Dravider Kazhagam would give priority to this. Though it has been legally prohibited to identify the gender of a child in the womb, in practice this Act seems to have been blunted. This conference demands that the Act must be vigorously enforced.
Women not to be Addressed in Undignified Terms
Men should free themselves from regressive thinking and desist from addressing women in undignified manner, adding derogatory particles. If this brahmin culture is not given up, the conference warns that women may start addressing men in the same manner.
Resolution: 8 – Karate instead of Yoga
This conference opines that instead of yoga, heroic games and defence arts like Karate can be taught to school girls. If necessary they may be trained in shooting and may be granted gun license.
Resolution: 9 – Right to Choose Life Partners
It is the right of women to choose their life partner after completing 18 years of age. If necessary, parents can offer them guidance. This conference makes it known that use of compulsion and force on the part of parents will not only constitute crime but is also against human rights.
Casteist Crimes to be Prevented
This conference strongly condemns the fanatics who murder those who fall in love and get married calling them honour killings (though in reality they are casteist ego killings.) Since fast detection and quick punishment as per law will send a shockwave in the society, the conference requests the government to act in this manner. This conference makes it known that when the girls who come of proper age fall in love and get married, to call it ‘theatrical’ is revisionist thinking. Further it is made known that love seldom considers the caste of the partner.
Resolution: 11 – Initials before Names
In spite of the state G.O. that the names of both parents (the mother and the father) can be used for the initials before names, the conference points out that it has hardly come into practice, and demands all the parents to follow this practice. Also, when the documents of the central government like Adhar card, Passport, and Pan use the name of the person in full, only the name of the father gets expanded, and the state G.O. permitting the use of names of mother and the father gets sidetracked. This conference emphasises that mother’s name also must be expanded, along with the father’s name in all central government documents.
Resolution: 12 – Encourage Higher Education
Though it is gladdening to see that women’s education is on the increase, their number decreases as they go to higher levels, owing to dropouts. This conference demands the government to offer monetary incentive and increase facilities to encourage women to pursue education.
Increase of Women’s Accommodation in Railway Carriages
This conference enjoins that the habit of reducing the number of special carriages for women must be reversed and more accommodation must be made available to women.
Resolution: 14 – No Jewels Please!
This conference calls upon women to curb their craze for jewels and costly clothings and must go in for refinement of feelings and assertion of rights. Particularly, the conference demands that bangles must be totally avoided and wearing thali must be totally given up. Instead of preparing themselves for beauty contests, it will add to their dignity if they compete in sharpening their intellect and adding to their experience.
Acts are There, but not Used
This conference painfully points at the increase in crimes against women in spite of Acts like The Child Marriage Restraint Act,1929, The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986, The Protection Against Sexual Harassment Act 2000, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and enjoins the central and the state governments to strive to attain the goal for which these laws were enacted. This conference further emphasises that details of these acts must be included in the curriculum of higher secondary and college classes in order to enlighten the society in their regard.
Resolution: 16 – Women as Temple Priests
This conference demands the centre and the states to make legal provision for appointing women of all communities as temple priests, just as men.
The Scriptures that Degrade Women
This conference beseeches the central and the state governments to ban the vedas, smritis, itihasas and puranas and other mythological lore which degrade women and all the materials and references to them to be removed from school syllabus. In this regard, this conference requests the President of the Dravidar Kazhagam to organise burning the copies of all those portions by women themselves.
Resolution: 18 – Names in Tamil
This conference enjoins women to name their children only in Tamil eschewing Sanskrit and other languages, without seeking the misleading guidance of astrology and numerology.
Resolution: 19 – Widows in the Forefront
This conference feels that giving prominance to widows in presiding over weddings and other ceremonies will create enlightenment in the society and requests the members to act in this manner.
Resolution: 20 – Give up Superstitions
This conference requests women to regard as bemeaning such acts like visiting the temple, seeking godmen’s guidance, and showing interest in religious rituals, and instead develop their intellect and self confidence.
Women – Not Objects of Pleasure
This conference expresses its disapproval at women being portrayed as wicked, cowardish and weak in television programmes and movies. The same people who are proud of heroic women of the past, are hesitant to portray them as heroic, brave, talented and possessing leadership qualities in contemporary scenes. This conference asks the movie personalities, creative artists, writers and politicians to explain the reason for this attitude. In the same manner the conference considers that depicting women in scanty clothings in magazine covers and portraying them as objects of pleasure in advertisings betrays only the dirty mindset of men. The conference announces that if their trend continues, women will come together and conduct ghero in front of the movie, television, press and advertising organisations.
Resolution : 22 – Cooking
Cooking is common for men and women. The present trend of cooking being considered exclusively women’s work must be changed and it must be made common for both men and women as is other countries.
Resolution : 23 – Gender Equality
This conference unequivocally declares that social justice includes gender justice, and wants the U N Declaration that gender justice in human rights must be followed.
Resolution : 24 – Chastity – Common for All
Whatever may be the implication in which the word ‘chastity’ is used, oppression of women in its name must be deemed evil social practice. If chastity is taken to mean discipline, the conference feels that it must be made common for both men and women.
Resolution : 25 – Dowry and Gift
Though demanding and offering dowry is a crime, gifts are considered acceptable. Yet, the conference is of opinion that both are the same and offering dowry in any name must be legally prohibited.
Resolution : 26 – What Enslaved Women?
Women have made history by convening a women’s conference and decorating EVR with the title of ‘Periyar’. Periyar wants to create not merely women of new world but revolutionary women. This conference feels that a programme for this must be included in the school and college syllabus and to make the concept acceptable to public. Particularly, this conference resolves to start a movement for familiarising the whole society with Periyar’s work, “Why Were Women Enslaved?”
Resolution : 27
Raise the Marriage Age of Girls
This conference enjoins the government of Tamil Nadu to prevent the practice of marrying off girls in a secretive way before they are 18. This conference emphasises that though the age of marriage of the girl has been fixed as 18 at present, women must develop a mindset to extend it further until they complete their education and conducting the marriage of girls while they are still studying must be prevented. It enjoins the central government to further raise the marriageable age of girls.
The Caste of Children Born of Inter-Caste Marriage
The conference asks the central and the state governments to enact an amendment to the respective act to alter the court decree that only the father’s caste must be taken into consideration for getting the benefit of reservation for the child, and enable the child to assume the caste of either of the parents as desired by them, as per the earlier practice.
Alter the Erroneous Decree of the
The High Court judgment delivered on July 22, 2008 by Justice S. P. Sinha and Cyriac Joseph holding that the daughter-in-law kicking her mother-in-law and the mother-in-law threatening the daughter-in-law that her husband would divorce her would not constitute an offence under IPC 498 must be reconsidered and the rights of women must be protected by an amendment to the relevant act.
Resolution: 30 – Protect Elderly Parents
This conference requests women to take a greater responsibility than men in taking care of elderly parents. It believes that it might cause a fresh impact among men.
Resolution: 31 – Breast Cancer and Women
In the circumstances of increased incidence of breast cancer cases, this conference beseeches the government of Tamil Nadu to install facilities for detection and offering medical assistance for the affected in all the health centres including Primary Health Centres.
Rights of Transgenders and their Development
This conference beseeches the central and the state governments to convert the board created for the development of the third gender, namely the transgenders, into an active outfit and does not exist in only in namesake, to nominate transgender to the legislatures and the parliament and to offer them reservation in education and employment.
Resolution : 33 – Stay Away from Hindutva
This conference advises women to stay away from Hinduism and Hindutva which have no respect whatsoever for women and are basically inclined to enslave them.
Resolution : 34 – Equal Pay for Equal Work
This conference emphasises that on the basis of equal wages for equal work, there should be no discrimination in the payments of men and women.
Resolution : 35 – Needed Total Prohibition
Since the drinking habits of men badly affect the women of the household, the children and the entire family, this conference enjoins the central government to implement total prohibition in the country.
For the Rehabilitation of Agricultural Families
Agriculture has been greatly affected for a long period, on account of monsoon failure and blockage of river waters, jeopardizing the life of the farmers, pushing many of them towards suicide. Under the circumstances, this conference beseeches the Government of Tamil Nadu to fully waive all their bank loans, and to be liberal and humanistic while sanctioning them compensation. Taking all the circumstances into account, it enjoins the central government to offer all the financial assistance to the state government.
The conference enjoins the Government of Tamil Nadu to declare all the districts where agriculture has been affected as drought hit. This conference points out that in agriculture quite a good number of women take part almost equal to men.
All the above resolutions were duly proposed and passed in the conference amidst thumbing applause of the delegates.