We say, "Equal Work Equal Pay"
A recent government report in The United States of America suggests that though women are more educated and better represented than ever before in the workforce, they earn about 75% of what their male counterparts make. Perhaps this is why more than three-quarters of working women say they are disillusioned with their jobs. According to a survey carried out on 5,000 women in the UK, about 77% feel they have to work much harder to get a promotion or a raise, even though they feel they have better communication and organizational skills. In India, perhaps, considering our largely patriarchal society, the gap would be much wider.
IIt is true that a lot has drastically changed over the past few decades. While women have dealt with suppression for ages, today they are entitled to vote, marry later, divorce when they feel the need to, and bring up children all by themselves. In other words, they are now much more independent then what they used to be. However, it is a cruel fact that their pay has failed to keep up with these changes. It is terribly unjust if she is underpaid in her workplace for the same level of performance that she is expected to deliver. Thus, it is high time that she puts an end to the exploitation and demands equal pay for equal work. . Article 39(d) of the Constitution of India provides for Directive Principles for State Policy. It aims for equitable distribution of resource of production among all citizens. One such principle is ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’.
As a beginner, a working woman should know her accomplishments, her demand in the industry, her past contributions in the company/organization as well as what she is capable of giving to it in the future. Also, rather than being a victim of ignorance, she should be well-acquainted with the updated information by building networks, attending conferences or going to online blogs and chat rooms. Thus, she can be armed with the knowledge as to what she deserves according to popular opinion. Underestimating her own worth is the biggest mistake that a woman can ever make. She must realise that if she is working, money will empower her to create her own destiny. Also, it is an important strategy for a woman not to reveal to her employer/hiring manager her present financials. At times, questions about one’s husband and what he does is a veiled way to find out what the husband or a significant other makes so that they can pay her less.
As of 7th of March, 2012, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said that atleast 70% of women worldwide still work as underpaid labourers in rural areas. ILO Gender Bureau Director Jane Hodges made the statement that most of the women across the globe work in jobs like agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and livestock, where they are still paid 25% lower compared to male workers because of restrictive cultural beliefs that prevail in rural areas.
To eradicate such victimization of women, the notion that women must be subservient to men and that they should be banned from having any property or inheritance rights, must be defied. If women get their remuneration at par with men, it will not only boost their morale but also leave a positive impact on their personal physical and mental health, which in turn will ensure a better performance and a happier family life. So ladies, don't settle for less and make sure you are getting what you are worth. To do that, realise your self worth and be confident about yourself - at home and in the workplace!