The Venom of Gender Discrimination at Workplace

on Sunday, July 21, 2013

Though we believe that the world changes its norms and that old faulty practices are diminished, gender discrimination is still a very big issue nowadays. Gender discrimination at work is practiced all over the world. Discrimination at the workplace is done most of the times by the employer, however; often colleagues are also involved in this injustice. Usually, new employees are the victim of gender discrimination by colleagues. The new employees may face annoying and irritating behavior by their colleagues; and if the new employee is a female, she may face sarcastic stares by her coworkers.

An employee who is being discriminated by their coworkers witnesses non cooperation from peers and negative feedbacks from their seniors. Discrimination leads to emotional and psychological disturbance in a person who is the victim which further results in demoralization and downfall in performance standards. As a result, it brings down the overall performance. Gender discrimination also has an adverse effect on society; it results in wastage of talent and resources. We come across many examples when during the interview for a new job priority is given to a male candidate over females, even if the female candidate is more deserving. It is because of the stereotypical point of view that women are good at household work only.

According to the Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights; everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to get equal pay for equal work. However in the developed countries or the first world countries, there are large differences in salary scales and wages even within the same occupation along with promotions problems for women.

Have a look at the following statistics for evidence regarding discrimination at work. By looking at the statistics of the EU in the year 2005, we know that men get 25% more salary than women in Cyprus, similar was the case for Germany with about 22% and even in UK men received 20% higher salaries than women… and the list goes on and on. Over all, South Korea has the worst gender salary gap in the world; women earn 38% less than men.

In a country like Pakistan, which is a third world country, gender discrimination at work is on the high side. Gender difference inhibits women’s access to opportunities to enhance some of their vital capabilities such as health, skills and education. With smaller access to opportunities for quality education, women are not able to gain benefits from productive labor market and from technological advancements –or so is the case in majority of the areas.

Lack of access to resources and deficiency in public goods increase the weakness of women in both private and public sectors. Gender difference in skills required for the workplace in the modern labor society is much higher than the difference in education. Females of all ages bear the burden of unpaid, unrewarding care work, both reproductive and creative, in the private sector. In the public sector, majorities of women work either as unpaid family labor in agriculture or hold low paid, low skill jobs at the lost sector of labor market. Women’s inferior social and economic status proves them defenseless to sexual harassment at workplace in the public sectors and to domestic violence in the private sectors

Pakistani Women’s participation at the workplace within the span of 15 years and above in the labor market has remained on the down side of 21.8 per cent in 2008. It is the lowest in South Asia and one of the lowest among Muslim countries across the globe. The overpowering majority of women who joined the labor market during recent years have ended up in non decent and exposed work categories.

Gender discrimination at the workplace is not only confined to women, men are also discriminated. There are many examples which show discrimination at work against men. For example, an organization of beauty products will give priority to hiring women on men. Another example includes receptionists or front desk officers where female candidates are given priority –same is the case for most of the jobs where public dealing is a major aspect.

Contrary to the commonplace belief, gender discrimination at work is increasing all over the world day by day and some serious steps should be taken to solve this issue. It is something evidenced against in all courts of law whether they are religious or secular. The United Nations charter also states equal rights for men and women. I guess it is time that we take it upon ourselves to break the norm of practicing gender discrimination at work.

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