If we try to examine the concept social security, we will come to the conclusion that in
There are different models which can be applied in order to provide social security to the unorganized sector workers. These models are centrally funded Social Assistance Program, Social Insurance Scheme, Social Assistance through Welfare Funds of Central and State Government. Though these different social security models have been to some extent successfully implemented in many states, yet all the different models put together covers only about 10 million out of approximately 390 million unorganized sector workers.
To top this up many argue that the Unorganised Workers Social Security Bill 2007 is a gross betrayal of the expectations and genuine needs of nearly 39 crore workers of the unorganised sector of the country, at least one-third of whom are women, and their dependents. It is a betray because it has failed to take into account the suggestions given by all the organizations and forums since the recommendations of the Second National Commission for Labour for social security legislation for unorganized sector workers and also the voice and movement of the unorganized sector workers specifically the women workers.
One of the biggest loopholes of this bill is that it covers only the covers only wage worker. A lot of women are unpaid workers in family farms and enterprises and are completely left out of this Bill. Exclusion of unpaid workers from the purview of this Bill means that extremely large sections of women workers in the country remain outside the social security web. More over the bill has failed to incorporate the decent conditions of Work Protection of Women Labour from Sexual Harassment. Further more it is being argued that the concerned bill is without any legislative policy because it leaves the critical issues of defining as well as enacting the law to the central government and not to the legislative body of the Parliament. Under the national minimum social security benefits, employment and wage guarantee, Non Employment allowance, Health Benefits pension, Maternity Benefit, Education assistance Housing are essential and must be provided. There are number of other areas in the bill, which needs a closer look and analysis. Moreover as it happens in most of the decision and policy formulating schemes, women are found excluded from participation. The same is the case regarding the administration and implementation of the labour laws. The 2007 bill does not ensure women’s adequate representation or participation.
Various reasons could be assigned for the sorry state of affair of the women in the unorganized sector. The situation is detoriating even further because of the impact of globalization and liberalization, relaxation of labour laws, adverse impact of technological growth on women labour, lack of organizations i.e trade unions among the female labour force, absence of government motivation or purposeful human resource development policy. The need is for greater government intervention in this sector and an all inclusive legislation that we take into account the distinct nature of women’s work and their problems in the unorganized sector.