Women form an integral part of the Indian workforce. As per the Census 2011,
a total of 149.8 million female workers are employed in various employments
across India. These female workers face various hardships relating to their
safety, working hours, sanitation, etc. The Factories Act of 1948 provides
female workers certain reliefs by giving them certain rights.
SAFETY AND HEALTH MEASURES
i. Section 19: Latrines and Urinals:
This section states that in every factory there must be enough latrines and
urinal accommodation, both for men and women. They should be separate,
ventilated, and well lit.
ii. Section 22(2): Work on or near Machinery
This section states that no woman shall be allowed to clean, lubricate, or
adjust any part of a prime mover or any transmission machinery while the prime
mover or machinery is in motion, or to clean, or to lubricate or adjust any
part of machinery if the cleaning, lubrication or adjustment thereof would
expose the woman to risk of injury from any moving part either of that
machinery or any adjacent machinery.
iii. Section 27: Prohibition of employment of women and
children near cotton opener:
This section prohibits the working of women in the same room as a cotton
iv. Section 34: Excessive weights:
This section prohibits the employer from making men, women, and children
from lifting excessive weights, which can cause damage to the employees.
PROHIBITION OF NIGHT WORK
Section 66(1): Further restrictions on the employment of women:
This section simply states that no woman shall be required or allowed to
work in any factory except between the hours of 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
SEPERATE WASHING FACILITIES
Section 42: Washing Facilities:
This section states says that separate and adequately screened washing
facilities shall be provided to women workers in a factory.
Section 48: Creches
This section states that in every factory where more than 30 women workers
are employed, they will be provided and maintained a suitable room or room for
the use of children under the age of six years of such women. These rooms shall
be under the charge of a woman trained in the care of children and infants.
ANNUAL LEAVE WITH WAGES
Section 79(1): Annual Leave with wages:
The explanation (1) of the said section says that every female worker who
has worked for 240 days or more shall be allowed leave with wages. And every
female worker can avail of maternity leave for up to 12 weeks.
Section 87(b): Dangerous Operations: