Women Workers in Unorganized Sector: Problems and Prospects

This documentary is based on the research done by Womens' Studies' Centre on the Women working in unorganized sector.From the close study, it can be easily estimated that the women working in unorganized sector are living a life far below from satisfaction. They do marry, bear children, and get old but under these phases of life, they live the same life. They suffer from many problems like unhygienic environment, no medical facilities, no awarness regarding laws. It is the need of the hour that Government, NGOs and common people come forward for the betterment of these beautiful creations of GOD. According to census 2001, women constitute 48.26 percent of the total population in India and 25.67 percent of female population is designated as workers.

Almost 400 million people (more than 85 percent of the working population in India) work in unorganized sector and of these at least 120 million are women. The female work participation rate in Punjab has increased nearly four and half times i.e. from 4.4 in 1991 to 18.7 percent (main worker 11.9 percent, marginal worker 6.8 percent) in 2001, and rural female work participation is 2.25 times that of urban female work participation. Women working in the informal sector are not included in the official statistics and their work is undocumented and considered as disguised wage work, unskilled, low paying and does not provide benefits to the worker. India was one of the first countries in the world to give women the right to vote. The Indian constitution is one of the most progressive in the world and guarantees equal rights for men and women. Despite the advances women have made in many societies, women's concerns are still given second priority almost everywhere. They continue to face discrimination and marginalization both subtle and blatant and do not share equally in the fruits of development. Their contribution is not given due credit. Women workers in unorganized sector lag behind the males in terms of level and quality of employment. Such women, when they have to perform dual of both outside employment in harsh and hostile working conditions and manage their homes, come across problems, which needs a loud hearing. These women are often illiterate, unskilled socially backward and economically weak which often hide their work participation. Poverty, lack of access to education and inadequate health facilities are their major problems. Women workers contribute substantially to the growth of Patiala. These workers continue to labour under many severe problems. These women workers working in unorganized sector are generally exploited. They are made to work for long hours and wages paid to them are not according to their work. These women workers are living below the minimum accepted standards without adequate shelter and toilet facilities. District Patiala has a sufficient number of women workers working in unorganized sector. During their work, they face a lot of problems, they are exploited, are unaware about their rights. To have a fairly representative sampling, 100 women workers were randomly selected from Patiala city working at different places (Krishna Colony, Lakkar Mandi, Sanori Adda and New Mathura Colony). These respondents families (forefathers) have migrated from Kurkshetra (Haryana).

From the close study, it can be easily estimated that the women working in unorganized sector are living a life far below from satisfaction. The low earning of these women cannot meet with their daily needs. They do marry, bear children, and get old but under these phases of life, they live the same life. They live under unhygienic environment which results dangerous diseases. They work more than men as they have to play a dual role working both in and outside the home. They have no medical facilities even at the critical moment of giving but to children. A few of them are assisted by other members of family in household work otherwise they have to work solely. No doubt, there are laws to protect women and prevent exploitation but these laws (the Interstate Migrant Workmen Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service Act, 1979, The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 and Maternity Benefit Act, 1961), but these legislations are not practically and strictly implement. It is the need of the hour that government and NGOs must come forward to improve the lot of these women. The Trade Union and Voluntary Organizations can play a vital role in making them conscious of cleanliness, health, education and above all their rights and this can be done only with the joint efforts of the government, NGOs and common people. Much remains to be done for the betterment of these beautiful creations of God.

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