Ragini Nayak “Are Women Children of A Lesser God”, The Hindu, May 2, 2010
“What is the worth of a woman’s work in terms of monetary outcome? Is it on a par with her male counterpart?
The Human Development Report 2000 says that women constitute half of the world’s population, perform a two-thirds of work hours, get one-tenth of the world’s income and less than a one-hundredth of the world’s property.
From daily wagers to lawn-tennis grand slam winners, women are being paid less than men for the same or similar work. Women remain the weaker sex with respect to pay-cheques and employment opportunities.
A major contention often raised is: if women’s work is usually of equal value, why are employers not slashing their payroll costs by hiring women instead of men? If they are paying men more than women in a free market, there must be a reason. Conversely, it is argued that equal pay for women is not just an issue regarding pay/wages inequality between men and women but it reflects upon the social, cultural and political perception of women as being physically and intellectually inferior to men.
Let us realise that a comprehensive effort has to be made to subvert the male perception of women’s economic worth and initiate the use of job classifications established on the basis of the work actually performed and the value of the work using objective criteria unrelated to the worker’s sex.”