Gender Studies Question: Women’s participation in the labor force has increased recently yet women continue to perform their reproductive roles. Discuss the challenges encountered by women as a result of their paid employment worldwide with special reference to Pakistan.
In the past few decades, the role of women in our society has extremely 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 monumental contributions in each sector. Though the number of working women is increasing day by day still there are certain barriers that they have to cross to prove themselves beneficial for the job market.
Women Participation in Work Force
Women’s participation in the labor force andearning a salary are part of a modern phenomenon, but women have been challenged by gender inequality in the workforce. Until modern times, legal and cultural practices, combined with the inactivity of religious and educational agreements, constricted women’s entry and participation in the labor force. Economic reliance upon men and the poor socio-economic status of women have had the same influence, as the employment has become professionalized over the 19th-20th centuries.
Challenges encountered by Women
Working women all over the world, especially in Pakistan are facing major problems. Though Islam has defined the status of women still women are subjugated in conservative societies of Pakistan. When they leave their homes no matter for what reason they are stereotyped and are esteemed with disrespect. Major challenges are:
In male dominating society, men are considered more hardworking, intelligent and better employees than women. This gender discrimination results in an increased level of stress and job dissatisfaction. It also decreases motivation to work and commitment towards the job.
Women are restricted to their homes and their primary role is to take care of household chores and to look after their families. In Pakistan, our family codes are such that men are assumed to earn money and women are expected to do domestic chores. After all day of work at the office, no matter how tired they are, they are still expected to make ‘gol roti’ for her family when she reaches home.
Harassment at the workplace
This is the major problem faced by Pakistani working women. Majority of the women in Pakistan step out of their house to earn money only at the time of extreme need. Their colleagues and higher management harass them by passing inappropriate remarks or making fun of them.
Women are paid less because the employer has this primitive concept that she will surely quit the job after her wedding. Women also earn low because they have to choose a less challenging job for themselves so they can spend more time with their family. Parenting affects the woman’s career unfavorably in contrast to men.
The public transport system in Pakistan is very poor. This is a big hindrance in the path of women who have to go out for a job. Women face harassment in public transportations. They are bound to travel on buses because cabs are expensive.
The government should address these challenges and make sure equal wages are being given to women. Women should be given more opportunities for quality education which in turn results in more knowledge regarding the technology advancements. To face these challenges successfully, women need to be self-confident and should keep herself up to date with the latest happenings in the world of technology and to maintain a balance between her work and personal life.
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