EQUAL WORK UNEQUAL PAY

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We know that the woman is the one who has to stay inside the house so that she does not get sexually harassed by those vicious creatures who roam freely on the streets.

It is the woman who has to adjust in a new house & a new city, leaving behind everything she had, when she gets married. It is the woman who has to take a maternity leave when she becomes a mother, while the father can continue his professional life in an unperturbed manner.

Women have already accepted this. A woman does not ask why she is the one to leave her home her family or why does she needs to lock herself up inside the four walls of the house. Women are beginning to cope up with these responsibilities along with their jobs outside the house. But there is one thing that they will not accept, the one thing they will not adhere to and that is not getting equal rewards when she works equally as men.

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The latest Monster Salary Index India IT Sector Report, put together by Monster, IIM-Ahmedabad and Paycheck.in suggesting that women techies are paid 20% lesser salaries than their male colleagues, has brought this agenda again into focus. After all why women are paid less for the same job?

It is not just about India, all women across the globe & across various professions face the same injustice. A report from Oxfam Australia, named G20 and gender equality indicates that it may take as long as 75 years for women to receive equal pay for equal work.

75 years…..?? Really…..we all know it is just another way of saying that “Hey girls do not expect you can be treated equally at least for another hundred years……!” or rather “please quit the debate, you won’t get anything out of it”

This does not end here, between a third and a half of all Australian women’s employment is considered to be part time jobs. Well and that clearly affects the wages they are being paid.

It is a general perception that a society expects women to settle for less. Be it a relationship, where people expect her to forgive everything that a man does, or a job where employers think a women employee would “cost them less”. No matter she has striven as hard as any man, or even more.

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Interestingly in a famous experiment, performed by Sarah F. Brosnan and Frans B.M. de Waal, monkeys were trained to perform a certain task. After they performed the task the reward they got were cucumber slices. It was all fine until all of them received the same reward. Things turn around when one of them was rewarded with grapes, a higher value reward. After that the monkeys who received cucumber slices refused to work and even threw those cucumber slices out of the cage. It shows that even monkeys have the “fairness instinct”, a term coined by Lixing Sun, professor Biology at Central Washington University.

What he suggests that every living being has a ‘fairness instinct’ which makes them believe that everybody who does the same job must be rewarded with an equal pay.

So the point here is does the society believe women to be even more naive to keep on accepting an unfair reward and still keep working day and night at the cost of their life and family?

We often come across complains when a certain group of employees feel they are being treated unjustly in comparison to the other group.  The recent amendments in the Factory Act 1948 hold that women can no longer work after 7 p.m. unless a particular factory is able to prove that it has proper security and safety conditions in place.

What does the government believe?

Would such a thing lead to more and more companies enhancing their security conditions?

Well that is less probable unless the company exclusively needs women employees or is in strong favor of women empowerment. What a more probable result would be that the companies hire lesser number of women labors. Eventually it makes situations worse for women labors.

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It is easy to give long speeches about women empowerment and making promises that we will create a better world. However it is not that easily done. Action speaks louder than words and this amendment clearly does not give a very encouraging message to women in the country. To create a just and fair environment for women will be the first step to making the women of the country independent. Once a woman is independent, other goals would be a lot easier to achieve.

We all know that every woman, be it the C.E.O. of some company or just an average paid employee at a small company, is expected to perform her duties as a wife, mother and not to mention a house maker. To manage work along with all these challenges is something worthy of appreciation. Instead of that what happens is the society, which so proudly boasts of it various schemes for women empowerment, creates new challenges for women.

It high time to think that if we really want women empowerment and equality what should our first step be? Do we in with all our effort want the women to move forward or it is just a superficial motive masqueraded with false promises to be recited during the election campaigns to attract women voters?

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