Firstly wish everyone a Happy Women’s Day !!.
This day is celebrated worldwide to mark women’s achievements. But why do we need to celebrate this day ? It’s because women in many countries are still treated as second grade citizens and are not treated on par with men.
Women hold up half the sky – Mao Zedong
There’s a lot of discrimination and prejudice against women. Many men are bred with a mindset that women are not supposed to do certain things, and so many women even today can’t have a career, as their role is thought to be of a homemaker. In the developed countries women have fought for their rights since years and hence they now have equality in many aspects including careers. But in many under developed countries there’s still gender prejudice.
I too faced many challenges and struggles as a woman in India inspite of being highly educated. India is largely a patriarchal society with most men not believing in women’s abilities. I remember when I passed out of college years back and applied for a job with a company, they preferred hiring my male friend over me, even though I had better grades and had a good personality (in many ways ) than my male friend. I lost opportunities as men didn’t want to hire women or didn’t believe in women’s ability. My male friends from college all found good jobs (one of whom even had copied entire xam paper from me) but I didn’t find good jobs. At that time I didn’t understand that there was discrimination in the mind of the hiring manager, and so I kept trying and getting many degrees , as I thought I was not hired due to lack of education.
Only years later I realized how hiring takes place in India. There’s a lot of bias towards candidates from a particular gender, caste,age and all other things(even in MNC’s). Most hiring managers are lazy (some corrupt)and would rather hire someone they know and hence their friends will get jobs (that’s why there are far too many incompetent people working in Indian organisations including MNC’s). Other than campus placements most other jobs are filled by references and recommendations. Most women who have found jobs are the ones who are related or come through someone’s reference. (I have years of research on this)
Here’s one link to an article on discrimination on women in bollywood in 2014.
This case went to supreme court in India and even till date some men have not accepted the gender bias. Most other cases go unnoticed and who can question a hiring manager (as they are all good at giving excuses if at all caught, which rarely happens)
Even today women from India who have no male support- struggle, although it’s become easier compared to a decade back for women to be in a career. Many times there’s news in the media about how companies are willing to hire women after career break and give more and equal opportunities to women , but most news is just that- news. Reality is different and the only women who probably get hired are related to the hiring managers. At interviews in India, no male candidate is ever asked about his marital status, but a woman is always asked about her marital status and a lot of assumptions are made to reject her. I know this from personal experience as well as having talked to a lot of people, especially women who’ve struggled.
On the basis of my education,talent and ability I should have been getting better work opportunities and should have been at a higher post. But I never gave up and kept on trying and doing different things. I just hope people stop stereotyping on the basis of gender, and look for talent and ability of a person, and I hope more and more women get better work opportunities ,commensurate and on par with men. (I want to challenge every Director /Manager working in Indian MNC on why they think they deserve those jobs )
This international womens’ days let’s just together voice our concern and be heard. Best wishes to all women to get out and realize their dreams.
About the Author : Suejata is an internationally acclaimed Author, Coach ,Consultant, Solo World Traveller, having varied work and life experiences. She has a masters degree in marketing from London , has developed CRM softwares in the past, worked in customer service of Norwich Union Insurance, worked as a Research Manager and has many other experiences. She’s the only solo woman traveller from India to have travelled to more than 30 countries ,and also runs a travel and lifestyle site. For Marketing/Branding needs get in touch with her.
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