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Predicament of an Indian Woman: Ranging from Gender Pay Gap to Outright Discrimination in Employment
3/24/2019 11:21:38 PM
Tawishi Dogra

Throughout history women have been suppressed and secluded from the mainstream but now the times are changing, however the question remains whether this change is being effectuated. This article looks at the prevailing gender pay gap and lack of employment opportunities that exists within the Indian Society. Why is that despite the fact that a woman works equally as hard and spends the same time working as a male is she paid less compared to him? Notwithstanding the same qualifications, men earn 30% more than women. Is this gap justifiable and defensible? Furthermore, there is no inequality in the amount of work both sexes do and time they spend then why is there is a pay gap between them. In urban areas, women earn about Rs 690 per day in the transport and storage sector, while men doing the same job with equivalent qualification earn Rs 902 per day. The situation gets even more unsatisfactory and inadequate in rural areas where an illiterate woman earns Rs 88 per day while a man earns Rs. 128, which is 45% more. If a woman is as qualified as her male colleague then why is there a pay gap between them? A woman should be treated fairly and be paid the money which she deserves. Is our society teaching us to underestimate the ability of women to do jobs or is because we think that women don't deserve jobs. This issue is hushed continuously by our society and the government of India. Despite being a developing country rights of women are being suppressed. As the position in a job gets higher the women get lesser, this is because of the glass ceiling effect that people tend to exclude women from managerial positions. Nearly 48% of the Indian population are women and our constitution saying it is unobjectionable to overlook and neglect such an immense concern.
Furthermore some jobs in India are exclusively reserved for men whereby women are prohibited to pursue them for instance joining the armed forces on a permanent roll. The underlying reason for this makes minimal sense as it is purely physcological as it appears to be that male figures want to dominate our society. Eventhough there are laws about equality, this issue appears to be continuously expanding significantly. In the USA women have been allowed to serve in the army since the revolutionary war and yet our country believes in archaic notions that women should not be allowed to do the same. Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat quoted a misogynist statement, "We are not yet ready for that (women in combat roles) as facilities have to be created within... Women also need to be prepared for that kind of hardships" this coming from an army chief is of immense concern, it is baffling that our society is so narrow-minded and sexist. Right to equality is a fundamental right envisaged in our constitution and outright discrimination based on sex should not be allowed. It appears to be that we have not yet developed as a country. Reminiscing at the Indian history there were plethora of female freedom fighters like Rani Lakshmi Bai, who lead their whole empire and are still praised till this day.
It is our utmost responsibility that women should be able to reach their full potential and for that, our society needs to be supportive and not underestimate them. The society we live in current is extremely patriarchal and has minimal value for women. But our Law makers had a different viewpoint. The Constitution of India through Article 39, explicitly mentions that "all states ideally direct their policies towards securing equal pay for equal work for both men and women." Indian women deserve to be paid equally and given equal opportunities as their male counterpart as it a basic human right. Uplifting women will not only change our society and the way world perceives our country. In order to facilitate our dream of becoming a developed country we need to empower women and it is our upmost responsibility to provide them with equal job opportunities.
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