Challenges Faced by Women Workers
In the past few decades, the role of women in our society has been drastically changed. Women can be seen as fighter-jet pilots, educationists, customer services head, company executives, admin heads, banking, HR and telecom sector. Women are making a tremendous contribution in each sector. Men are no longer considered as the only bread earner of the house. Women of the family are now also financially supporting their family. Though the number of working women is increasing day by day but still there are certain barriers that they have to cross to prove themselves beneficial for the job market.
Gender based discrimination:
Working men are usually given unfair advantage in comparison to the working women. In this male dominating society, men are considered more hardworking, intelligent and better employees than women. This gender discrimination result in increased level of stress and job dissatisfaction. It also decreases motivation to work and commitment towards the job.
Basically women are given lesser opportunities for quality education which in turn results in lack of knowledge regarding technological advancement.
Earlier women were restricted to their home and their primary role was to take care of household chores. With time, due to increase in economic pressures on families this restriction has been released. Now in most of the families women are also allowed to get higher education and do paid jobs but under certain restrictions. The maximum percentage of working women can be seen as health workers, educationist, clerks or any other low paid job that are not much preferred by men because of the lack of growth opportunities and low pay-scale. Women are allowed to do such jobs because of the female dominant environment. This thing has restricted the woman's exposure to other available opportunities and limited their growth in the developmental sector. After all day of work at office, no matter how tired they are, they also have to look after domestic chores.
Harassment at work place:
Harassment is another main problem faced by working women, as they are considered an easy target by the male colleagues. Most of the women in Pakistan came out of their house to earn money only at the time of extreme need, they are much vulnerable and colleagues and higher management harass them by passing inappropriate remarks or making fun of them or in extreme cases they harass them sexually.
Usually women remain silent on such acts or ignore them or put up with it in fear of losing their job. They are reluctant to make allegations against the culprits. Some of them resign to get rid of all this because they know that it is of no use to make a complaint against them. Corrupt officers and higher authorities do not support them. Strict laws are there to support working women but only if all this gets reported. This is one of the major reasons why families do not allow women to work.
The employer should ensure that uniform wages should be paid to both men and women on an equal amount of work done. In many workplaces, employees are not allowed to discuss their salaries because of which no one ever comes to know if they are paid less or not. Bullying, harassment and abusing are vivid acts but lower wages is a silent offense, no one makes any complaint and the problem continues.
Women are paid less because employer has this preset concept that she will quit the job after marriage or after having children. Women earn low also because they have to choose a less challenging job for themselves so they can spend more time at home. Parenthood affects the woman's career adversely in contrast to men.
The organization should offer some family-friendlier policy and also make sure equal wages should be given to the employees without gender discrimination. Remaining silent on such act means that we are silently supporting this crime.
Married Working Women:
Most of the married women are not allowed to do a job and also, it becomes difficult for them to maintain work and household chores equilibrium because of increased responsibility. Traditionally, men are the bread earners of the house and it is not appreciable if women support the family financially or if women earn more than men.
Married working women also face problems at work. It is not possible for them to work in late hours. Most of the workplaces do not have nurseries or daycare where mothers can keep their children.
Negative attitudes of male co-workers:
Attitude of male co-workers is sometimes really humiliating and biased. It is considered that women are hired just to add colour to the office environment. Lack of workplace social support, from colleagues and supervisors leads to absenteeism, low turnover and job dissatisfaction. Higher authorities should try to establish a supportive and conducive work environment.
The transport system in our country is very poor. This is a big hindrance for the women who have to go out for a job. Men and women both have to face this problem. Despite the inadequate availability of the public transport, women also have to face harassment. They are bound to travel on buses and vans because taxis are expensive.
The government should address this problem on priority basis. Separate public transport can solve this issue.
What they need to do?
To face challenges successfully, women need to be self-confident and should keep herself up to date with the latest happenings in the world of technology. The internet has now solved the problem of limited opportunities, as every internet savvy person can access to the world of knowledge and information. So women should keep surfing the internet to increase their knowledge. Good communication skill is also a necessity; it helps in building social network which in turn helps in appraising whenever there are new opportunities available. Meeting deadlines is also important to prove yourself worthy. Another most important thing is to maintain balance in work and personal life.
Also there is a need to educate men and tell them to respect other women like they respect women in their family. They should show flexibility in their attitude and should accept that women can perform even better than them.
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