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Discriminating Women at Workplaces

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Sharon Panackal:

Gender based discriminations are undeniably prevalent in the current society, across the world.

Despite having equal education, work experience and other qualifications women are neither considered equal to men, nor given equal opportunities. This is followed by the persistent preferences for men in job interviews, payments, trainings and promotions.

People have a common idea that women usually quit their careers once they get married and have children; while men carry on their job regardless of their age or any kind of personal troubles. In that case the company will not have to bear the loss of recruiting a new staff if the previously appointed staff is a male. But, from the usual household works to the area like garment factories and construction sites, a good number of arduously working elderly women are calling the shots. About 10% of the construction site workers in US and 8.5% in Asia are women, who work either until they lose their job or they become old and are unable to carry on their jobs with wrinkled skin and poor eye sight.

Liliana Acero, Director of Centro de Investigaciones Sociales, mentions in one of her scripts about the unvarying significance of participation of women in the textile industries of Brazil and Argentina. Compared to men, they worked in the labour market even in their sixties, with the monotonous and uncertain profession with greater working hours and bare minimum amount of money they were paid.

In accordance with one of the weekly pages of the Communist party of India, more than a hundred million women works in the nation, among which above 95% are in unauthorized sectors. They do not have any guarantee for having their job there in future. With the availability of new technologies including weapons and other kinds of machines, women are often replaced by men in their workplace. Even in the authorized sector, mainly in airways, the authority itself takes initiative to send off the female worker, once her good look starts to fade; and her sufferings in her workplaces never stop happening.

Women are often not provided with private rest rooms or dining places or even a secure place to keep their infant. These cause them a lot of anxiety and mental stress. Away from these, women, in workplace, face sexual harassment as well. No matter where they work or how much they are paid, women are still subjects to the covert and embarrassing jokes of their co-workers.

In addition, working continuously in places like garment factories and construction sites results in headaches, back pain, high blood pressure, mental stress and anemia due to the unbalanced diet, irregular intake of food and restrictions from taking short breaks in between. Usually they are not given sufficient days for maternal leave; even if they are, their salary is generally deducted.

Whereas males, being allowed enough breaks, not feeling the need for private urinals and being guaranteed job security, find pleasure in affronting their colleagues and getting a satisfying payment.

Though there are existing laws that promote equality among men and women in the workplace, the authority of the workplace seldom cares for the female worker’s concerns. When women are working equal hours or even more, are objective, patient and compassionate than men, companies who deny a woman employer are unknowingly facing an enormous loss within.

Despite the fact that women are coming to the forefront of different services, people still consider her wages as something unimportant, but bonus to the family.

Although women in workplace have been an exciting topic for thoughts and discussions, unless people destroy the image of putting women and household works together, women are not going to find a level equal to men.

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  1. Arun Sharma

    Not to criticize much on this sensitive issue, but I feel exactly the opposite way. At my workplace, girls have never been asked to leave the workplace later than 5pm whereas we used to be held on for not less than 7pm. Girls got tax rebates provided by government, whereas we paid higher taxes. Girls never got to visit the suppliers in those shaky conditions where we were sent every now and then.
    It’s easy to criticize the system for not providing opportunities to girls. But even at the MBA level, I have many classmates (girls) who want to get married and settle down as house-wives. But boys, on the other hand, don’t even have that opportunity and hence, can’t even think about these things.
    I don’t say that there isn’t any discrimination against girls. There surely is at number of places, but not in the private sector, to that extent. If you can point out a single revolt by girls against the Reservations provided to them or the incentives provided to them, I’ll surely support your cause that this discrimination should be stopped. But if girls will persist for putting an end to discrimination but continuing with the incentives, I’ll be the first person to stand up against it.

  2. Thaso

    Sharon, this is really nice informative writing about women descrimination at work place. This is also not to speak against what Arun Sharma said but to clarify and give some examples where women are being descriminated and exploited.
    Actually, if we take garment sectors as examples, we know that there are enough private factories and even in plantation sectors too. There are many women who work under difficult conditions. Here she does not mention only about women who have degree but also others as well. However, still they are women workers. Generalizing the idea with you point of view that private sectors does not descriminate women is really vague.

  3. usitha

    Not only inadequate wages and job opportunities, women are also criticized badly for working in EPZs. For example, women who work in EPZs face hardships in getting married. If there is no discrimination in private sectors, such as of the EPZ, why only women are facing those hardships while both men and women are employed in EPZs.

  4. Arun Sharma

    Thanks for your opinions friends. I would like to clarify on some points.
    First, I said that the discrimination is “not in the private sector, to that extent”, but I never said there is NO discrimination. But at the same time, the fairer sex can ask for equal rights only when they have equal resources to play with. If the article would’ve talked about female foeticide, dowry deaths or other safety issues where females face problems, I’d have agreed immediately. But when it comes to workplace, I am yet to find examples where the discrimination is at a very high level.
    Who doesn’t discriminate? Everyone believes that his/her boss discriminates against him/her. Even with people who don’t have degrees and who work as daily wagers, the human psychology remains the same. In this context, sexual harrasment is the only issue that I think is very crucial and is actually an issue that needs attention. But if you’d tell me that due to continuous working in factories, only women get high BP, back ache and mental stress, I’m sorry my friend but it sound hilarious. Even men have the same problems. And if you say that men are stronger and can do more manual labor and can take more physical stress than women, then they do deserve higher salaries. Where’s the issue of discrimination there?

  5. Ritsvol

    It is not said that only women are facing physical problems in their workplaces. It is things that cause those problem that matters. Headaches, back pain, high blood pressure, mental stress and anemia – what causes these are the behaviors of her co-workers and of course her “boss”. Men might have the same physical illnesses as well; but women are rather vulnerable to it. Reasons are also mentioned – restrictions from taking short break in between, insults from their colleagues and privation of sufficient days for maternal leave. Still they choose to do these jobs because of poverty. In addition, once women get back to their home from workplace, a load of household works might be there for them to do.
    Poor people work in places like garment factories. Women, working in such places, do not have an option to keep their infants with someone else (like a day care center); but to take them to their workplace. Having no secure place there will ultimately increase their mental stress. I hope men are not affected much in these ways.
    These are the case of so poor people. Then what about women working in airways??? Once they lose their physical “beauty”, they are expected to leave!!!! isn’t it?? – that has been even a court issue. (As men get older, they look “younger” – a nice cliche that saves men)
    I know these may not be convincing enough; but these are what I got to write here now.
    Anyway, it is really nice that people take their time to write what they think about the article; for it would certainly help the next reader to know different phases that are related to this issue. Thank you.

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