By: Saipriya V
The social status of women has undergone a considerable change worldwide. Though women these days are far more educated, financially independent and more aware of their legal rights, but still empowering and supporting women worldwide continues to be an uphill battle. This is due to the gender based discrimination, where women are discriminated on the basis of their gender and are not given equal opportunity in education, work, political and economic advancements. Gender-based discrimination is found throughout the world and women who perform the same tasks as men are often paid less and receive fewer benefits from their work. Even in developed countries like Canada, women earn less than men (3). Recent statistics shows that, for every $1 earned by a male worker, a female worker earns only 74 cents (5).
In South Asian culture, gender norms are highly prevalent and women often take responsibility for most home care and child rearing duties. Due to this attitude working women face more challenges than men. Though increasingly more and more women are contributing financially to their families, still household responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, doing the dishes and childcare responsibilities are often on the women, this leaves woman to live under severe stress. A recent study shows that working women sleep less when compared to men, because of the added responsibilities and stress of running a household.
Similarly, at work environment women experience discrimination and harassment. Most often women were employed in lower income jobs experience sexual harassment (1,4). On the other hand women in a senior positions were often criticized and attributed to sexual favors, these psychological pressures influences and impedes women to progress in her work environment.
Due to the stigma attached to this treatment, most of the harassment and sexual abuse at work goes underreported. In order to ensure a safe working environment for women, we need effective participation of women in all political, social and work environment. Firm policies around gender equality and protection around harassment is essential to ensure safety of women at work. All the above our society needs a change in its mindset to ensure women to work with dignity and peace.
1. Problems faced by Working Women. Siliconindia blogs
2. Tinker, I. (1990). Persistent inequalities: women and world development. Oxford University Press.
3. Gender discrimination in Canada. National Association of Japanese Canadians.
4. Dr. Dashora B,K (2013) . Problems faced by working women in India. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences.
5. Gender Wage Gap.Pay Equity Commision (2012).