Why Women are Still Exploited in India?

The Wegener Mail ✉ 

Despite constitutional guarantees, barriers persist, affecting enrolment and retention of women in education, and limiting their career prospects. The gender pay disparity in India is of a complex nature, an inequality influenced by societal norms, economic constraints, and educational disparities.


Representative picture

There is a pronounced gap in land ownership and wage rates between men and women in the agricultural sector, for example. This disparity is symbolic of the broader economic inequalities faced by women, who often receive lower compensation for similar work compared to their male counterparts and are significantly underrepresented in land ownership. This situation underscores the broader issue of gender pay disparity across various sectors of the economy.

Moreover, the variation in gender pay gaps and female workforce participation across Indian states points to the influence of regional educational levels and gender parity on economic opportunities for women. Such spatial disparities suggest that policies to mitigate gender inequality must be tailored to the specific needs and contexts of different regions, considering local norms and economic conditions.

Education emerges as a crucial factor in addressing gender disparities, with its potential to empower women and provide them with greater opportunities for economic participation. However, the benefits of education are not uniformly realized across the population, with persistent disparities in access to and quality of education affecting women's employment opportunities and wage potential. Thus, while education can be a powerful tool for mitigating gender inequality, its effectiveness is contingent upon the elimination of barriers to educational access and the provision of quality education for all.


Violation of Labour Laws                              

The Indian Constitution, through its provisions, aims to ensure equality before the law and prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. Specifically, Article 39(d) of the Constitution of India mandates equal pay for equal work for both men and women, highlighting the legal framework's intent to eliminate wage disparities. However, the persistent gender pay gap and the underrepresentation of women in the workforce indicate a significant violation of these constitutional and labour law provisions.

The traditional societal norms and economic constraints significantly impact women's education and workforce participation, limiting their career opportunities and earning potential. This results in lower wages for similar work, particularly in the agricultural sector. The uneven impact of education on gender parity highlights the need for region-specific policies and interventions.

                                                                                          

Impact on Female Psychology

Unequal wages and systemic undervaluation of women's contributions in the workforce lead to exploitation, relegation to lower-paying jobs, career barriers, and job insecurities.

The psychological impact of this exploitation on women can be profound and multifaceted. It contributes to a diminished sense of self-worth and professional value among women. Constantly being undervalued economically can lead to internalized feelings of inferiority and question their competence and worthiness in professional settings. This can hinder their career progression further as it affects their confidence to negotiate salaries, apply for promotions, or take risks that could lead to higher-paying positions.

The gender pay gap in the workforce leads to increased stress and anxiety among women, exacerbated by societal pressures and financial strain. This exploitation reinforces gender stereotypes and perpetuates patriarchal norms, limiting women's aspirations and perpetuating gender inequality in the workforce. It also hinders access to resources and mental health support.

 

Government & Public Intervention

Government intervention is crucial in establishing and enforcing legal frameworks for equal pay and discrimination, including strict implementation and monitoring. Policies promoting women's education, and skill development, and supporting women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses are also essential.

Public intervention, on the other hand, involves changing societal attitudes and norms that contribute to gender disparities. Awareness campaigns led by civil society organizations, NGOs, and activists can play a significant role in challenging stereotypes and changing perceptions about women's work and values. Education plays a pivotal role here; curricula that emphasize gender equality from an early age can help in shaping future generations that value and practice equality.

Moreover, corporate responsibility towards gender equality can significantly influence societal norms. Companies can adopt transparent pay scales, perform regular gender pay audits, and implement policies that support work-life balance for both genders, such as flexible working hours and parental leave. Public recognition of companies that excel in promoting gender equality can also motivate other organizations to follow suit.

Community support systems, such as mentorship programs and professional networks, are crucial for women's professional success. A comprehensive approach from the government, public sectors, communities, and individuals is needed to address gender pay disparities and create an environment where women are valued equally, and empowered psychologically.

 

Conclusion

The gender pay disparity in India is a persistent issue that affects the economic standing and psychological well-being of women. Despite constitutional guarantees and legislative frameworks, this gap violates labour laws and contributes to a cycle of exploitation. Government and public interventions are crucial in addressing this issue, including legal reforms, educational initiatives, awareness campaigns, and corporate responsibility. Community and support systems play a crucial role in empowering women and mitigating the psychological impacts of gender-based pay disparities. Bridging the gender pay gap requires a holistic approach involving legal, societal, and individual actions.


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References:

  1. Singh, Dr. Susmita. (2023). Gender Disparity in Education and Health in India: A Comprehensive Analysis. International Journal of English Literature and Social Sciences. Link
  2. Ganapathe, P. Jaya, Ram, P. Karthik, Hariharan, R., & Babu, H. Barath. (2023). A Study on Equal Pay for Women in India. International Journal For Multidisciplinary Research. Link
  3. Singh, Vaishnavi, Patel, Shubhi, & Singh, Rakesh. (2023). Analyzing Gender Disparities in Land Ownership and Wage Rates in Indian Agriculture: An Empirical Study. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology. Link
  4. Khandelwal, Piyush. (2023). Gender Inequality in India. Indian Journal of Social Science and Literature. Link
  5. Das, Simontini, & Mondal, Rhyme. (2022). Spatial disparity in gender pay gap and female workforce participation: a sub-national level study in Indian manufacturing sector. International Journal of Social Economics. Link
  6. Madan, Sonu, & Mor, Surender. (2022). Is Gender Earnings Gap a Reality? Signals from Indian Labour Market. Statistika: Statistics and Economy Journal. Link


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