The Difference in Earnings in India, Gender Pay Gap – Ekta Shakti Foundation
The Difference in Earnings in India, Gender Pay Gap – Ekta Shakti Foundation

The Difference in Earnings in India, Gender Pay Gap – Ekta Shakti Foundation

It feels good to see Indian women coming out of their homes and setting off to workplaces. That they are contributing to the community and their families fills one with pride. Despite this achievement, the difference in equality in pay scale seems to be bothering. Indian women earn 20% less than Indian men, as per the statistics of 2017. When it comes to wages in India, why does gender become an important parameter to determine these? The latest Monster Salary Index shows that while men were earning Rs. 231 per hour, women were paid only Rs. 184. Women hailing from the labour classes have it no better. Over the recent years, the gap seems to have declined but at a very slow pace.

In March 2017, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a maternity leave of 26 weeks, instead of 12 weeks earlier, for working women. The measure was to ensure proper care of the future citizens of India. Even though this move aimed at giving working women enough time to recover before resuming the jobs, it attracted unintended consequences. Small and medium-scale industries chose to hire more men than women. Perhaps, because they couldn’t afford to offer 6 months of paid leaves to their female employees.

Coming back to Prime Minister Modi’s powerful announcement, some working women decide to come back to the field but they have to struggle a lot to get another job due to the break in service time and experience brought about. They may succeed to secure jobs again. However, after the long gap, these employees have no choice but to begin from a scratch.

Article 14 of the Constitution of India is concerned with the issues of gender equality. It prohibits discrimination on any grounds be it gender, class, religion, race or caste, for certain, it gives momentum to fundamental rights of every Indian citizen. The law of the country states that these can be violated under no condition. Despite the Constitution of India being formed in 1949, the evident gender pay gap, even in the modern years, shows that the law has been little understood.

Article 14 ensures equality – under protection of law. But equal protection of laws may not be granted to all women, especially those hailing from underprivileged backgrounds. Honour killings in India had been prevalent at a big scale in India earlier, and in many places, still are. These were most common among the uneducated sect of the society. Though the cases may have reduced, they do prevail even today. And these are not merely attacks on the needful women. More than that, these attacks are assaults on every woman and girl’s autonomy. Sadly, India is one of the countries to have a big number of female foeticide instances.

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