the feminist manifesto,

Election 2019, Assam

Bring the welfare state back. Make the state take responsibility for ensuring fundamental rights and basic social security for all and take over public services.

The state must recognise that women are not a homogenous group and their class, caste, race, religion, gender and sexual identity, ability, ethnicity, language and geographical locations, etc. create different experiences of discrimination to them. The state must understand this intersectionality and take steps to address specific needs of specific groups of women.

Tea garden workers

wage at par with national minimum wage for skilled labour, benefits under Plantation Labour Act (1951), international labour rights standards, women's unions Reduce domestic work burden of women-policies that promote and ensure men's domestic work responsibility - introduce paternity leave at par with maternity leave in all sectors of employment. Time spent doing domestic work should be counted in the work day Regulate unsustainable profit oriented businesses that destroy the environment, increase income insecurity of the workforce Women farmers - recognition of women farmers, institutional support to women farmers and farming collectives, women's land rights, support to small farmers - shift control and decision-making to women

Make human rights institutions like the Women's Commissions and Human Rights Commissions and other commissions for protection of human rights of marginalised people, non-political.

In this feminist manifesto, we ask political parties to take actions for ensuring women have access to basic facilities required for gaining equal status and for ensuring their human rights. Our specific recommendations for this purpose are following.


Political participation

Promote women's participation in politics at all levels - Minimum one-third reservation for women in the parliament, state assemblies and autonomous district councils and political parties, student unions, trade unions Decision-making power to women Create opportunities for women to participate from ground level-include in all committees, and make women's majority vote, decision-making and participation mandatory for all women's welfare schemes


  1. make a shift from a market-based, profit oriented, economy to a local, collective, sustainable economy
  2. Income security-Secure employment for people with jobs in different sectors through policies and laws
  3. Decrease income gap and bring in universal standards of income
  4. Reduce gender pay gap Create new jobs
  5. Create sustainable jobs based on women's skills, capacities, needs
  6. Support women's income generating work
  7. Support local markets Informal workers - domestic workers, women vendors, women in retail, service sector Minimum wage, working hours, maternity and childcare benefits, housing, transport and healthcare support

Social Security

Universal basic income - Maternity and childcare benefits for women in all sectors, including women who work at home

Adequate pension for old age

Adequate housing for single women

Marginalised groups

ensure human rights and take concentrated measures for development of marginalized groups. Policies and programmes to address human rights violations and ensuring social security and public services to all. The state must take specific measures and formulate specific policies and laws to ensure rights of marginalized women:


Religious, ethnic and linguistic minorities

Lower castes Alternate sexuality and gender identities Women (would suggest using Persons here instead) with disability

Environment, land, natural resources, climate change

Ensure women's access and control over land and natural resources. Stop unconstitutional evictions of people

Take strict measures to address environmental destruction

Promote women-led action for environment protection Take measures to address climate related distress like displacement from

flood and erosion

Support women's action for adaptation to climate change - Put women at the forefront of climate change mitigation action

We want to reiterate that this manifesto captures the needs and opinions shared by different groups of women from different parts of Assam. It provides directions in which government must take actions to ensure rights of women. We will demand from and work with the new government in implanting this manifesto in continuous consultation with women.

Education - Free education till masters level - Free education must include economic support to pursue education like living

expenses for the poor. - Improve quality of education in state schools

Concentrated efforts for marginalised sections

Healthcare - The state must take over the health service and provide free health care for

all. Sexual and reproductive health services in all state healthcare institutions Programmes to ensure SRHR (Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) of women and remove taboos Move away from market linked solutions like insurance and private healthcare Increase income and job security of para-health workers - promote their capacity for better service Mental health issues and trauma healing, etc. should be incorporated into the public healthcare system. Create a separate policy for addressing mental health concerns and support towards survivors of violence, conflict and people who face discrimination with special reference to the marginalised

communities - Increase health budget to minimum 2.5 percent of GDP

Women's safety - Make the justice delivery system timely - Ensure support machinery like shelter homes, and ensure that

compensations reach women immediately - Recognise marital rape as a crime

Ensure internal complaints committees are in place in all organisations, institutions and departments Repeal laws like AFSPA, NSA, UAPA, etc, that are linked to large scale violation of women's human and civil and political rights Recognise that women from marginalised groups are at more risk Ensure state budgets take care of equitable distribution of shelter homes in all districts of Assam Increase the number of women in the police force Establish women's cell in district thanas and crime against women cells at block level Establish women's safety committees at the Panchayat /vcdc level as a local measure to combat trafficking Make women's help lines operational at the district level as per the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 Protection Officers in accordance with the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 must be independent individuals, not government officers

Public Service Public toilets, drinking water at home and in public places, waste management, electricity, street lights, safe public transport, road and transportation should be the state's responsibility and made free to the poorest section and affordable to all

Peace and Security - Promote diversity and equality of all social groups irrespective of religion,

caste, gender, class, ethnicity, language, citizenship status, etc. Protect

human rights of all. - Strict action to stop hate crimes and vigilante groups - Women-led peace building processes, formal and informal