Gender Inequality At Workplace: Growing Up As Boys and Girls – Class 7

Women’s primary role as a caretaker and homemaker is one that is not valued. In many societies, it is naturally assumed that men will work outside the home and the women may also do so provided they fulfill their the women may also do so provided they fulfill their household duties.

There is no sharing of the household chores between men and women whether working or non-working. Therefore, it means that household jobs are considered to be duty of the women for which they are not paid.

One must realize that looking after a house and its inhabitants is indeed a very tough task. It involves preparing food which means the lady of the house works near the heat for hours.
It also involved fetching water, cleaning, washing clothes, mopping floors, attending to the guests, looking after the children and their needs, all of which consume a lot of time and effort.

A number of these tasks involve physical labour, bending, lifting and carrying. Such tasks are physically taxing and strenuous, something that is associated with men. Women in rural areas lead an even tougher life. Not only do they have to bring water from far off places or head loads of wood but they also have to contribute in the agricultural activities and do the household work.

If we put together the number of hours women work at home and outside, then they far exceed the number of hours of work put in by men. Yet, housework remains the most undervalued and unpaid job. Of the total work force in the country, women still constitute a very small number. Society has made it such that even if a woman wanted to go against the norms and get a job in the work force she would not get very far.

About 75 percent of the jobs in the well paying professions are held by men and even if women are able to get equal jobs as men they still get paid considerably less.

Striving for equality is a key feature of our constitution. It seeks to give equal opportunities, be it a male or a female, without discrimination. But as we saw inequality does exist in terms of non appreciation of women’s unpaid job, household work and paid jobs.

Government efforts to remove gender inequality

The government realizes that the onus of family and household care in a patriarchal country like India eventually falls on the women and has, therefore, taken measures in this direction. This directly means that government will have to ensure that women are able to attend schools and not fall victims to the burden of household chores.

To enable the women to work, the government has set up several anganwadis or child care centers in the country. It has also made it mandatory that any organization having more than 30 women employees must make arrangements for cr’eche which enable child care. Such arrangements can create conditions for women to work outside home and also facilitate the education of girls.

In an effort to reduce harassment of women at work, the government is also in the process of introducing a bill on sexual harassment at workplace. This bill would definitely help women combat at the embarrassing situations that they have to face at work just because they are women.

Unless and until the society and the government break the gender stereotypes, the inequality of gender will continue at home and at workplace. In urban areas, gender inequality is decreasing at workplace in India through efforts are being made to change it in the rural areas also.

Read More: Gender Stereotype: Growing Up As Boys and Girls – Class 7

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