Bathinda: After eight months of protests against controversial farming laws on the Delhi border, women held Mahila Kisan Sansad fortress in Jantar Mantar on Monday. The 200 women, 100 of them from Punjab and 100 from other states, drove in five buses from the Singhu border towards Jantar Mantar to discuss and debate the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. There were three sessions of debate on Monday with three groups of speakers and deputy speakers for different sessions.
The first session was chaired by Subhashini Ali, Suman Hooda Choudhry and Ravindra Pal Kaur, while the second session was chaired by Annie Raja, Harinder Kaur Bindu, Jagmati Sangwan, Surinder Jaipal and the last session by Medha Patkar, Kamaljeet Kaur, Nisha Sidhu. was headed and Anuradha Beniwal.
Mahila Kisan Sansad members who participated in the debate alleged that the EC (A) Act legally sanctioned hoarding and black marketing by large corporations and others in the food supply chain. They warned that this had serious consequences not only for farmers but also for consumers as a whole. They claimed that any amount of hoarding could be carried out by big capitalists in the name of export contracts even in the event of a national emergency. The speakers accused the government of “giving up its mandate, intention and power to protect the interests of ordinary people by changing the law on essential goods”.
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The speakers said that women in the job of ensuring food security in the household would eat less if food became more expensive. The women paid homage to the martyrs of Kargil on Vijay Diwas.
A decision was made to strengthen the role of women in the peasant movement through thoughtful steps.
The Mahila Kisan Sansad unanimously decided that there should be 33% reservations for women in parliament and state legislatures, along the lines of local bodies such as panchayats. A constitutional amendment should be made to adequately represent women who make up 50% of our population, the Mahila Kisan Sansad decided. In addition to Jantar Mantar, women led the procedure at over 100 locations in Punjab.