Same wages for women and men

Nepali women still suffer wage discriminationHimalayan News ServiceNawalparasi, April 11In spite of continuous protests from women at national-level demanding equal rights like men, discrimination can still be seen taking place within society. Moreover, in order to pay a similar amount to workers of the same level - without taking gender matters into consideration - the government introduced a policy 13 years ago, but it is yet to integrate into people’s general life.Female workers at the Nawalparasi district are experiencing the discrimination, since they receive Rs 20 less then men per day. A victim, Sunita Yadav, 42, of Kushma VDC says, “My husband’s daily payment is more than mine, although our jobs and roles are same.”Not only Sunita Yadav, almost all other female workers from various sectors in Nawalparasi district are facing the same problem. A female worker, who was engrossed in breaking stones with a hammer, showed unease over the payment discrimination she is facing. A woman working at Danda Khola near the Mahendra highway burst into tears whilst talking to The Himalayan Times stating, “I have returned to breaking stones only 15 days after giving birth, but I still get Rs 20 less than the male workers, when actually I have worked equally like them the same time and same type of work.” Twenty thousand female workers of the total population of the district are working in the agriculture sector, but they too are not getting the equal amount of payment like men.Workers in the agriculture sector get Rs 40 wage per day and the workers at building sites can get Rs 60 to 80 wage, but female workers cannot receive the same amount.An educated local at the headquarter of the district notes, “The number of non-governmental organisations has reached more than a dozen, to organise workshops and seminars on the rights and steps to be taken by women, but no change in behaviour has appeared yet.”District chairman of Nepal Trade Union (NTU), Devi Prasad Subedi adds that he will fight for female victims if there are any complaints issued. He says that poverty is the very reason for exploitation. They are compelled to work on a low salary simply to make daily ends meet.Ishwari Prasad Sharma, chairman of District Development Committee (DDC) shows concern over the issue noting, “I am trying to implement equal payment for male and female workers as decided by DDC.” He opines that the malpractice will continue unless the VDC gets the right to implement the government’s policy and punish cases of violation.