‘Workplace discrimination’ is not a new word, especially in India. Our history reveals how prestigious was the status of women in India and how it gradually became twisted. If a lady official of a high rank mentions about any contradictory situation at work, she’s of course not joking, because India is a country famous for the most annoying kind of discrimination at the workplace.
India is advancing each year, in all spheres alike. But when it comes to man-woman equality, India still limps. This inequality has far reaching effects. Starting from poverty to unemployment, the gender discrimination has a crucial role to play.
Though our law doesn’t support any kind of discrimination in the workplace in the form of gender, race, religion or nationality, it is a fact that women endure workplace discrimination, mainly of gender. In majority of the cases, men and women are unequally paid, even if it is for the same job. A woman may have to face three major issues related to workplace such as-
Lower rate of participation in the labor force- Modern women are much advanced in qualification when compared to their male counterparts. But still the number of women in the active work force is less. The unemployment statistics of our country shows that the rate of jobless women is greater than that of men because they face several social, traditional and cultural barriers that prevent them from going for a job, even if they want to.
The wage disparity- It is a universal truth that women are paid less (more than 30%) than men for the same kind of work. It doesn’t matter if they are professionally equal to or sometimes above men. Men receive good salary even as new-appointments and women get the same only after 3-4 years of job experience. Some companies find men to be more capable for sophisticated projects and eventually all these lead to inappropriate salary norms.
The concept of ‘glass ceiling’- This is widely seen all over the world whenever it comes to promotions in a job. It is quite unnerving to find that most of the people who get promoted in a job are men. We can hardly find women in higher and decision-making posts. A woman stands the least chance to get promoted to a professional position despite outstanding qualifications and experience. Though there are exceptions to this, majority of the higher posts are awarded to men.
These issues are purely generated from the discrimination shown towards women. Stereotyping of women and misapprehensions related to the abilities and potentials of women considerably aggravate the problem. Family issues add oil to the overall fire. A working woman has to tolerate a lot of hardships. She is often burdened with responsibilities when the male earning members of the family become reluctant to share responsibilities with her.
The Government should take initiative and promote necessary measures to prohibit discrimination against women. Higher rate of unemployment of women means lower rate of contribution to the nation. This stagnates economic growth prevents expansion. Thus it is mandatory to take steps to forbid against women since it is not the woman alone who suffers; but the whole nation.