What is gender discrimination in the workplace? This takes place in different forms, but in simple words, it means an employee or a job applicant is treated differently because of their gender. Women make up to about 49.2% of our population while only around 24% of women are employed. The male employment rate is 82.5%.
It is clear that there is a huge problem of gender discrimination in workplaces in Pakistan; it is incredible to see that to this day there are many organizations in Pakistan that still do not hire women. This is something that is talked about quite often, and while some established organizations are making changes to their HR manuals but needless to say we still sit in a scenario where the men have a greater chance of success than women.
Women face many problems in the workplace, this does not just constitute to pay gaps but also decimation in major decisions that are taken. Their opinions are not as appreciated as men. Women have to fight for maternity leaves, flexible hours to handle home life, and against sexual harassment. The 5 most prevalent scenarios that women need to fight for are:
- Unequal Pay
- Sexual Harassment
- Women are promoted less than men
- The fear of asking to be paid what you are worth.
When I started researching why this still exists, I realized that this actually dates back to when girls are born and how they are raised. They are raised differently than men, they have to fight for their rights more than men, and most of the time when not given equal rights; they tend to give up. This stays with them when they join work and don’t stand up for what they think they deserve.
Women need to realize that standing up to our patriarchal society and asking for the same rights as men are not something that is looked down upon but something that is YOUR right. A right to equal pay, a right to equal opportunities, and the right to be not just as successful but even more successful than men.
While in Pakistan women have the right to vote and the awareness of education has started increasing there are still no such laws of equal pay or equal hiring in organizations based purely on experience and working abilities. There is also no ratio that is defined in organizations of what percentage of women to men ratio there should be. Laws should be enforced within organizations in order to create a neutral workplace.