Working Women Issues in India - we need all round improvement

Join Our Forum & Raise Your Voice Without Fear!

Recently we’ve inaugurated this non-profit portal committed to welfare of working women in India. Our plan was to invite Kiran Bedi & get her view point about conditions of working women in India, main issues & challenges. However later we dropped this idea of talking to her since she has been all too busy with the anti-corruption movement that is taking place along with eminent personalities like Baba Ram Dev and veteran social activist Anna Hazare.

As we’ve just now started coming out of poverty and our political leaders are always, as usual much too busy with doing corruption, thinking about working women issues isn’t a priority at all. More so when even the root level women empowerment issue is only lightly taken, poor women, women in villages are almost daily harassed physically & sexually. Hardly does anybody have time for this.

We could have instead gone for general India women forum, targeting women rights, equality & harassment issues, but the scope of which would have much too big to manage in a non-profit charity-funded site like this. More so that generally women in India don’t have access to PC & internet, most of them are poor and non-working women. Most important issues with them would be how to tackle poverty, uneducation, dowry deaths, harassment, joblessness etc, which would have been far fetched. It will be very difficult to help a poor uneducated woman by this website.

So we’ve zeroed in on working women instead. Many working women have access to PC & internet and are educated at minimum and can be helped to fight for their women rights and solve their issues. They have access to phone, bank account, TV etc. In short they are up in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as compared to an average non-working Indian woman. She has at least some independence financially & in better position to take decisions on her own.

Working women in India may be up in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as compared to an average Indian woman, however her issues aren’t much different and on the contrary quite similar. What are those?

Female as made by nature

Male ego displaces her down in our society, she is weaker, she has been stereotyped as a weak, submissive person of society who also is supposed to maintain her dignity & modesty in our Indian society. Her non-cooperative husband can always overpower and abuse her.

Add to her woes her monthly cycle, pregnancy, nursing, child care- which all must be taken care by a woman which nature has made her.

Unequality in work

Most of places she is considered less productive than male counterparts so she gets less renumeration for the same work. Some time male bosses/counterparts look down upon their working women colleagues in the same fashion how their sisters and mothers have been treated in their homes.

She is often discouraged to take up jobs at remote locations, work at odd hours work among males etc. Her womenhood complements it - she has reduced time available due to weaker body, women-related issues and maternity/child care related issues.

Leave Issues at work

Due to women related issues, maternity, nursing, child care, guest reception etc she need many more leaves than male counterparts which she can’t avoid. Management/offices even ask women employees to resign and take maternity leave otherwise they will need to pay for her “free work”.

Home Responsibility

No matter what a husband boasts of, most likely the working women has an added responsibility to manage household, cooking, managing guests, managing children ultimately leading to more pressure on her.

Physical & Sexual Abuse at Home

It isn’t much uncommon to find women being harassed physically and sexually by their husbands. Most of husbands want their wives to keep them in high regard - keeping conventional Indian tradition and culture.

Women Issues

Woman’s monthly period and related issue is very important issue which is deliberately ignored in our “conservative” Indian society since even talking about it could be a taboo subject. This is not even taken care in any legislations, but ultimately working women suffer due to this - but nobody want to listen this nor can one talk about this issue in the office or raise with the management. There are many women who suffer pain of varying degrees. Some can’t even work. But who is listening in India?

Different Emotional Needs

It’d suffice to say “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” as described by John Gray. Women have altogether different emotions & feelings as compared to men who are relatively emotionless or feel less emotion as gifted by nature.

Women need their husbands to understand their problems and feelings as a woman. Men need to be taught that their partners, co-worker, subordinate women have different emotions needs which needs to be taken care of. This will help understand women in our society, helping them improve their working life.

Managing In laws

It’s all wife’s responsibility to manage and “obey” in laws which adds to her responsibility

Sexual Harassment in Office

Imagine a woman whose father is ill and her boss/employer is threatening her to fire her if she does not “give-in” to his wishes and whims. This is harassment of extreme type. She can’t do much. Lax laws, lengthy court procedure, no compensation etc further encourage this.

Passing comments, touching, forcing etc isn’t uncommon. Working women stands alone in this, hardly anybody to help -- no government help is forthcoming, she need to maintain her modesty after all.

Conclusion

In short we need revamp in all round corners with respect to working women’s lives. We need to help each other, join together in chorus to raise our issues, put them in a proposal to government for new legislations angled at improving working women’s lives.

A couple of visibly clear steps the government can take to improving working women’s lives are:

  • Double the EPFO interest in case women employees
  • Give higher interest in all bank deposits to women
  • Give 30-50% discount in all Rail/bus/plane fares to women
  • Legislate strict laws against sexual harassment in offices
  • Setup special courts for handling complaints of working women against their employers
  • Legislate leeway for special leaves needed by working women
  • Legislate laws to curb inequality


Comments

Safety and Security of Women Employee at IDBI BANK LTD

Professional Harassment from Middle level managers (mis-use of position) in IDBI BANK seems to be taking undue advantage by making some of the women staffers work late beyond 21:30 Hrs, as a punishment for asking for change in role, after completing more than one and half year service in a particular role in the same branch.

However, when the lady staffer requested their Sr. Ops Mgr, about late sitting, and security the response was " We will ensure you work from morning 09:00 to 22:00 Hrs" the same has been escalated at various level including Local Senior Management, who has turned down by stating "BUSINESS IS IMPORTANT".

Now, the question to IDBI Management is on women safety and security? Why do local management staff in IDBI BANK Bangalore encourage Women to work late, when they walk away at 18:30 Hrs, "What owner ship is on them?"

What response the Government and Media would like to make to address the above issue?

Question to IDBI MANAGEMENT, what systems are they going to adopt to ensure lady staffers leave home on time?

Hi, I am a woman entrepreneur

Hi, I am a woman entrepreneur and I too faced a lot of problems when I started my own business, which was 5 years back. But now, there are sites which can help women feel empowered by helping them with their business. Particularly, I would like to mention one, which is Moneychat India. They helped my business grow. So my advice to all women would be, don't be afraid to ask for help, no matter what problems you are facing.

maternity leave

hi this is Mehak Memon I am working for global Inoves Mumbai on contract basis for one telecom company and my joining date was 4march 2011 and i am pregnant and my expected date is 28 November 2011 can i apply for maternity leave and from when...

Is your PF getting deducted?

Is your PF getting deducted?

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