What's New :
22th February 2024 (11 Topics)

Ending Discrimination

Context:

Recently Supreme Court ruling deems rules penalizing married women employees unconstitutional, emphasizing gender equality in workplaces. Despite progress, women face barriers such as biased job interviews and cultural norms.

The Supreme Court's stance against discriminatory workplace practices:

  • Unconstitutional Rules: The Supreme Court of India declared rules penalizing women employees for getting married as unconstitutional; emphasizing that such practices undermine human dignity and the right to non-discrimination.
  • Case of Selina John: The Court upheld the rights of Selina John, a former lieutenant and Permanent Commissioner Officer in the Military Nursing Service, who was discharged from service in 1988 for getting married, directing the Union Government to pay her ?60 lakh in compensation within eight weeks.
  • Progress in Gender Parity: The ruling highlights the ongoing battle for gender parity in the Indian Army and underscores the need for concrete actions to support gender-inclusive policies and practices.

Challenges in Civilian Workplaces:

  • Gender Bias in Job Interviews: Women often face uncomfortable personal questions about marriage and motherhood during job interviews, hindering their participation in the workforce.
  • Barriers to Labour Participation: India's low female labour participation rate, as indicated by the latest Periodic Labour Force data, underscores the need to address barriers in education, employment, and opportunities for women.
  • Impact of Social Norms: Restrictive social and cultural norms continue to impede women's empowerment and hinder their access to education and employment opportunities, perpetuating gender disparities.

Promoting Gender Equality in Workplaces:

  • Role of Organizations: The Supreme Court's verdict highlights the importance of organizations becoming enablers of gender equality by eliminating discriminatory practices and creating inclusive work environments.
  • Empowering Women: Government schemes aimed at empowering girls and women must be coupled with efforts to challenge and overcome restrictive social norms to ensure their meaningful impact on the ground.
  • Ensuring Workplace Equality: Upholding the Court's verdict can pave the way for organizations to prioritize gender equality and ensure that workplaces serve as platforms for empowerment rather than hurdles.
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