In recent times women have come out of the four walls of their homes and sought suitable careers for themselves. Today, we find that women are working in practically every field of life. There are women doctors, professors, writers, journalists, judges, lawyers, typists and even police women. Women have also entered the military officers in general. In games and sports they have own many laurels. P.T. Usha made sports history through her thrilling performance in the Olympics in Los Angeles, California. They have invaded even the world of politics and have risen to the highest position in their respective countries, Margret Thatcher of England, Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi of India, Mrs. Bandaranaike of Ceylon, and the current president Pratibha Devisingh Patil, are only a few examples. Women today are holding highest position in a number of countries of the world.
The performance of women in every field has been really creditable, and they have outshone man in spheres, which were supposed traditionally to be his exclusive privilege. Still the prejudice against women persists. It is still said that women are inferior to men, both physically and mentally, that they cannot put in as much work as men can do, hence they should be given less pay than their men folk. Nothing can be more unjust, wrong and unfair. Those who expressed such a view – and their numbers are not small – turn a blind eye to the manifold achievements of womanhood. Such a view is entirely contrary to facts. Women have convincingly demonstrated their capacities and abilities and to deny them the same pay is given to men is immoral, unjust and unfair. Justice must be done to them; age-old prejudices must be shed and women must be paid equal pay with their men folk.
To deny women equal pay is not unjust and immoral, it is also entirely on constitutional. Indian constitution expressly provides that there should no discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, caste or race. All citizens of India ere equal in the eyes of law and any discrimination between one citizen and another is illegal and criminal. Women are rightful and lawful citizen of India. They also enjoy the same fundamental right as men do. They, therefore, fundamentally and constitutionally speaking should get the same right as men do. Therefore, equal pay for women is just. In the modern times, most of the work is done by machines. Women technicians, engineers, pilots and women workers, working with computers and other machines, have proved themselves more effective. Therefore, they must get the same pay as men. To deny them equal pay is worst form of exploitation.
The view that women should not be given equal pay is discriminatory, unenlightened and prejudiced. It is an expression of the old-age exploitation to which women have been subjected in the modern world. In the modern democratic world, “equal pay for equal work”, is a recognized principle. To pay women less is extremely cruel and unprincipled. If at all, women should be paid more, for they have also to do domestic work in addition to the work they have to do in their jobs and which they do much more sincerely than their male counterparts. They have to do a number of household chores like cooking, cleaning utensils, sweeping, the house, mending clothes and also take care of children. A man’s work is done as soon as he is out of office, but a women’s work continues well into the night and it also begins much earlier next morning. Hence it would be more just and ethical to allow them a higher pay.
Our way of thinking, our attitude towards womanhood must undergo a radical change with the change of times. To allow them equal pay for equal work is merely a first step towards such a change. The question “is equal pay for women fair?” has no relevance in the modern context. It is entirely unjust and prejudiced.