In the 21st century, women have come a long way. We have evolved from damsels in distress into confident, driven, and goal-oriented individuals over the years. We have succeeded in balancing work and personal lives, with a number of women moving their way up the business world and even the once male stronghold of politics.
But despite all these changes for the better, women are still having to deal with issues of basic rights in the workplace. There are still a lot of ordinary women who feel discriminated against in their jobs. The most evident aspect of this is the wage gap.
While statistically, 62% of the wage gap can be attributed to occupational and sectoral differences; unequal experience and education; along-with factors such as region, race and unionization, a whopping 38% is still left to be accounted for. It’s obvious that this stems from discrimination and (knowing or unknowing) bias towards sex.
Another equally vital issue is that women face is sexual harassment in the workplace. This is so alarmingly rampant that at least one in three women in US workplaces have experienced it. Harassment has grown beyond unwanted and aggressive physical contact to include sexual/sexist remarks, lewd texts, e-mails etc. What’s even more alarming is that most of these incidents are unreported.
No woman is ever safe from these violations of their basic rights. Every woman should know how to protect themselves and fight for their rights. Here are 3 ways you can take up the good fight:
1. Know your rights.
The primary step to protecting yourself from discrimination and harassment is by being aware of your rights. Learn about your rights and the laws that can protect you. Importantly, you should go beyond those policies that are commonly practiced and seek out the laws there for your protection.
2.Spread the knowledge
One can make a huge difference by sharing with others what you know. When you witness acts of discrimination or harassment in the workplace, don’t hesitate to call them out. Be bold and talk to your supervisor or employer about the incident. Let them know that you see it as a problem.
Authorities encourage victims of sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination to report such issues and take actions against it.
3. Provide support.
If someone you know has been sexually harassed or discriminated because of her gender, give them your support, and encourage them to take action. One can also join support groups in your community to let others know that they have your support.
Remember, there is strength in numbers. There’s no one better to protect womanhood than women themselves. Above all,we must gather together in sisterhood to assert our rights and to be respected and protected. Be aware, spread the wisdom and never stop striving for change.