Problems of urban working women in India

Problems of urban working women in India

The problems of women belonging to different strata of society are differ¬ent in nature. Their problems need to be tackled at various levels. The hazards faced by the upper class women differ from their counterparts in the lower strata of society. Like wise the dilemma of women in cities differs from those of rural women. In the same manner the problems of urban working women in India- are different from those of housewives or engaged in self-employment. The problems that the working women face are because of age old obsessions. Therefore, the major cause is gender bias.

In fact the origin of the problems faced by women folk are gender based animus. How can a society dominated by men tolerate women as their equal in- the professions so far controlled by men? Men are unable to accept them as equals in their professions. It is well known that many industries offer those jobs to women that men hate to do. Excepting modelling, advertising and film industries their beauty is a curse because they are taken to be at their face value.

Once a woman has stepped into the male's world she is expected to shun her feminity and inhibitions. Her going out for a job adds to her vulnerability. It is not safe for her to go out by her private vehicles. Even her travelling by public transport exposes her to every kind of eve-teasing, molestation and obscene remarks.

The lack of security is faced by every working Indian woman. Once she steps out of the confines of her house, she is subject to every security problem. Apart from her insecurity on the roads and streets, there is a security problem at their workplaces. Sexual harassment and unwelcome sexual advances may make hell of her life. In case she tries to uphold her dignity, everyone around her will be hostile to her. It is by far the most condemnable problem faced by the working women in the urban areas. Inspire of their high education and professional achievements they can not feel sense of security that is her birth right.

Even at home front she is a victim of male chauvinism. Time management between her official duties and domestic duties is her greatest headache. Every man wishes for a working partner. But in practice the same man becomes an exploitative husband. He expects her to do domestic work, look after children and perform other wifely duties efficiently. Many a time working women are victims of nervous break-down. A study conducted by a sociologist Hochschild reveals interesting aspects about working women. Working women work roU8 V 15 hours longer each week than men. Inspite of this many a time she suffers from guilt complex thinking that she has not performed well both at home an office. Husbands think it beneath their dignity to co-operate with their wives in their domestic duties.

The problems faced by urban working women in India are many but they are not insurmountable like other advanced countries. We must have laws specifically dealing with sexual harassment. Unfortunately we don t have any such specific legislation to uphold the dignity and honor of working women. How many Indian working women can dare to lodge a complaint against their employers? They are afraid lest they should be ostracized from society. As a matter of fact the social scientists must come out and realize their responsibilities. Proper studies on the subject should be conducted & facts should be brought to the notice of the public and the media. According to a Sakshi survey 28% of India's work force are women. Only 3% of senior management posts m corporate India are held by women. 80% women confess that sexual harassment exists in- their workplaces. According to the same survey 53% women complain that they don't get equal opportunities & are treated unfairly by supervisors, employers and coworkers.

A sociologist G.K. Karanth has aptly summed up the position of urban working women, “The social, economic and political fields of Indian women is increasing. But the mechanism for protection of their basic human rights is yet to take shape.