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Gender Inequality in the Workplace: What Rights do Women Have at Work?

Updated on October 11, 2017

Female doctor at work

Today women enjoy most freedoms that men enjoy.Many women have now joined the work force to work as doctors, teachers,lawyers,engineers, designers, truck drivers and many other professions.However, discrimination against women still exists in various forms, especially in the workplace. Women should therefore know their rights as workers and take responsibility to stop the violation of this rights in the workplace.

History of women's right to work

For a long time women had been denied the right to work as their role was to stay at home and take care of the family.Cultural practices restricted women from entering and participating in the workforce. They were therefore economically dependent on men, and this consequently resulted to women having a poor socio- economic status.Later on during the world war I and II women were employed in large numbers because men were few.However,there was too much discrimination in the workforce such as women being paid less and being fired when they got pregnant

Importance of women's right at work

Employed Female Doctors: Women can now apply for any job and can sue employers in case they are excluded from any job they have qualified for
Employed Female Doctors: Women can now apply for any job and can sue employers in case they are excluded from any job they have qualified for

Various laws in regard to women’s right to work have been put in place and make it illegal for employers to exclude qualified women from any available position. This is because employers would often hire qualified men and deny women the positions even though they had qualified.As a result of women’s right to work,women can now sue their employer if they feel that their employer has in any way secluded them from a position based on their gender.In the past,female employees would be paid lower than their male colleagues for the same position.Women can now go to court and sue their employers if they have proof that their male colleagues are being paid higher for the same position.Women’s right to work also help increase the status of women in the workplace.

What rights do women have at work

There are various types of rights that women have in the workplace.Below is a list of rights that women should enjoy while at work.

Right to work while pregnant

Pregnant woman at her workplace
Pregnant woman at her workplace
  • Right to work while pregnant.An employer should demote or fire a woman due to pregnancy,childbirth or pregnancy related illnesses as long as she can perform satisfactorily.Pregnant women in addition have a right to breastfeed at work and go for maternity.
  • The right to be protected from sexual harassment.No employee or employer of any company where a woman works should sexually harass the woman in any way.Sexual harassment includes sexual comments, touching or making unwanted sexual advances.
  • The right to equal pay.Women have a right to be paid equally with their male workmate for the same position.
  • The right to be protected from network discrimination- Most recruiters of high status jobs are often men who hire other men and exclude women.Employers should not exclude female employees from any available positions as long as they are qualified wherein recruiters for high-status jobs are generally men who hire other men.

Benefits of women's rights to work

Workplace rights help women enjoy freedom to work in any position of their choice.They can be lawyers ,doctors,mechanics,drivers or even become executives of large companies .The society also benefits from the women’s right to work because when the financial status of a woman increases,the welfare of her family,children and the nation also increases.

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