Minister Nitin Raut Writes To CM On Beed Hysterectomies In Maharashtra
Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nitin Raut has recently written to the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for his mediation in the matter of Hysterectomies being carried out in certain districts of Maharashtra. In April 2019, the Hindu Business Line had highlighted the matter and investigated the same. According to Raut, the Marathwada region in central Maharashtra has the highest number of sugarcane workers, a considerable number of them are women. Beed in Maharashtra had come under sharp focus regarding the same.
- Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nitin Raut has written to the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, urging him to intervene in the issue of Hysterectomy being carried out in certain districts of Maharashtra.
- It has been found that women workers get their uterus removed so that they don’t lose out on wages because of menstruation. He estimated the number of such women to be 30,000.
- Raut also wrote that the Marathwada region in central Maharashtra has the highest number of sugarcane workers, a considerable number of them are women.
- Many a time, owing to menstruation, they have to go on leaves and hence, for the number of days they don’t work, they aren’t given any wages.
Contractors have a problem with the menstrual cycle of women workers because it hinders the course of work. During their periods, women would often ask for leave of a day or two. This is unacceptable in the cane cutting culture
Minister Urged To Solve The Problem On Humanitarian Grounds
Raut in his letter to the Chief Minister urged him to intervene and solve the problem on humanitarian grounds. He also put forth that it is Marathwada district where the majority of sugarcane workers are women. He estimated the number of women who got their uterus removed to be around 30,000.
In April 2019, the matter was taken in suo moto cognizance by Rekha Sharma, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women. She had urged the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra to take swift and immediate action on the same. Post this, a committee was formed to probe the increasing number of hysterectomy cases in Beed district, but no action has come to light to date.
Removal of Uterus to Prevent Wage-Cutting
Hysterectomy refers to the practice of removing a woman’s uterus. A report by the Hindu Bussiness Line investigated the matter in the Beed district of Maharashtra, earlier in the month of April. The report indicates that this crime is propagated by the cane-cutting contractors in the district. This is done because they are unwilling to hire women who menstruate. About 50 percent of women in Vanjarwadi have no wombs and they say it is the norm in the village to remove the uterus after having two or three children.
Lakhs of cane cutters migrate to western Maharashtra from October to March, which is the cane cutting season in the sugar belt. As the drought in the region intensifies, the migration also doubles. Contractors have a problem with the menstrual cycle of the women because it hinders the course of work. During their periods, women would often ask for leave of a day or two. This is unacceptable in the cane cutting culture and hence it attracts fine, instead of allowing the leave. To get rid of this, women find it better to remove their uterus instead of going through financial consequences.