The Congress-led Uttarakhand government has come in for flak from the opposition BJP for its announcement that women cannot work after 6pm in select sectors.
The BJP said that following the nationwide outrage over the gang rape and death of a Delhi woman last month and the spate of rape incidents reported from across the country since, the order reflected the inability of the government to ensure the safety of women.
The party said the order would prove especially inconvenient for women employees of call centres who worked the graveyard shift. The law strictly prohibits women from working between 10pm and 6am.
Chief minister Vijay Bahuguna claimed no such order had been issued, PTI reported.
But Ranveer Singh, principal labour secretary, said the government just tried to modify the provisions in the factories act that stipulates working hours for women. He said the government is not trying to impose gender inequality with the move.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) also backed the government, saying the order did not attempt to discourage working women. Vibha Malhotra of the CII said, “We will have to see the move in the broader contest and study its implications.”