Only male supervisors exist in all types of work (except in few CTs and school toilets), often insensitive to women’s needs:
- Supervisors are often unable to understand issues specific to women, and even women are hesitant to communicate them to male supervisors.
Supervisors often fail to recognize the increased burden on women.
- Only women workers are assigned night shifts for a month at a stretch and continuous shifts lead to double responsibility of work and household chores, leading to sleep deprivation for almost a month.
Frequent harassment by contractors/supervisors:
- Some women have reported being spoken to in an “awkward and vulgar” manner by supervisors.
- In a recent instance in Bangalore, women sanitation workers asked for their unpaid salaries- the supervisor abused them with casteist slurs, but also sexually harassed them by taking his pants off in their presence and threatening to rape them.
Improve working environment- appoint women supervisors; gender sensitise male supervisors.
This insight applies to 2 types of unsafe sanitation work:
What this entails: Cleaning faecal matter from railway tracks and platforms,railway toilets and platform toilets
Frequency: several times a day
Location: Rail network and railway stations
What this entails: Cleaning open drains and road sweeping, often encountering fecal matter due to open defecation and insanitary latrines connected to drains
Location: Urban – drains alongside roads