A workers’ movement that started in Punjab’s Malwa region last year has started to reach out to the fairer sex too. Women brick kiln workers from across the state will assemble at Bathinda on April 22 as part of the first convention in the state that would be devoted to women workers from the unorganized sector.
Though there is no official data on brick kiln labourers, conservative estimates show that there are nearly 6 lakh workers in Punjab, and most of them are exploited by their employers. Of the 6 lakh workers, half are women and happen to suffer, if not more, as much as men. At times, a lot of the women are forced to work in hard conditions even when they are pregnant.