Historic: Now, equal employment opportunities for Indian women in mines

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Indian women will now be able to work in mines.

In a note by Ministry of Labour & Employment, it has been notified that employment of women in mines will not be a taboo anymore. Here is what the conditions are verbatim:

The Central Government hereby exempts the women employed in any mine above ground and in any mine below ground from the provisions of section 46 of the Mines Act, 1952, subject to the following conditions, namely:-

(a) In the case of women employed in any mine above ground,-

The owner of a mine may deploy women between the hours of 7 pm and 6 am in the mine above ground including opencast workings;
The deployment of women shall be after obtaining the written consent of the concerned woman employee;
The women so deployed shall be provided with adequate facilities and safeguards regarding occupational safety, security and health;
The deployment of women shall be subject to the framing and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures on the basis of the guidelines issued in This regard by the Chief Inspector of Mines from time to time;
The deployment of women shall be in a group of not less than three in a shift.

(b) in the case of women employed in any mine below ground,-

The owner of a mine may deploy women between the hours of 6 am and 7 pm in technical, supervisory and managerial work where continuous presence may not be required.
The deployment of women shall be after obtaining the written consent of the concerned woman employee;The women so deployed shall be provided with adequate facilities and safeguards regarding occupational safety, security and health;
The deployment of women shall be subject to the framing and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures on the basis of the guidelines issued in this regard by the Chief Inspector of Mines from time to time;
The deployment of women shall be in a group of not less than three.

The Mines Act, 1952, restricted the employment of women in underground mines and also in opencast or aboveground workings of the mine during night hours between 7PM and 6AM. Several women employees groups, industry and students enrolled with various institutions persuing mining engineering courses at degree and diploma levels have been representing to the government at different forum that women should be provided equal employment opportunity for working in mines.

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