Gender in Labour Laws- An existent venom?

I desperately want to see a place without discrimination. Discrimination happens to begin on the basis of different names, and various other aspects that ought to be strongly condemned.

Team Law Community
July 14, 2020

I desperately want to see a place without discrimination.Discrimination happens to begin on the basis of different names, and various other aspects that ought to be strongly condemned.

One of the most common basis for discrimination would be Gender‘and’ sex Discrimination. Yes, I told ‘and’ because, like others we tend to interchange the words but the real meaning of the words are different. Sex is biological or anatomical identity to say a person as male or female. On the other hand, Gender is a societal construction with maleness or femaleness; it’s basically not much of biological explanation.


Initially, even I was in opinion that, women are not given equal opportunity in every field of work. But when we analyze on the point “field of work”, there is certain field of work where women cannot be touched upon,Manual scavenger, deep sea fishing, a priest in a church, etc. we can’t push women into such jobs as there is some biological differences, where men are physically strong and are capable to do it.

We have supreme legislation the Indian constitution emphasizing on equal treatment and no prohibition of women or discrimination against women in all areas, including education, vocational training, skill development and employment. And for the same, women's are also granted certain percentage of reservation.

Gender and Labour laws:

One of the major concerns is that, women lag behind men. This can be illustrated by taking into account firstly, work participation is more by men as they are the bread winners of the family. Secondly, quality of employment, women cannot express their full efficiency in all employment because there is a need for certain arrangements for their hygiene.  

Industrial law is one such law which is bestowed with women oriented jobs depending upon their physical, mental and biological attributes.The main objectives of these acts are to increase their efficiency, increase their participation towards employment, and support them being independent.

Few of the certain laws:

i. The Factories Act, 1948: it is a welfare legislation laid down to adopt safety measures to the employees with respect to health, safety, working hours and leave. This legislation has special provision dealing with women granting them slightly different rules in regard to working hours, no work in hazardous occupation, cannot work in cotton pressing factories, fixation of maximum permissible load, crèche facility, etc.

ii. Employee State Insurance Act, 1948: these are critical legislation in India. Where workers get sickness benefit,disablement benefit, medical benefit and funeral expenses. Women get special benefits in the name of Maternity, in the case when the woman is pregnant, orif there is confinement, or miscarriage.

iii. Workmen compensation act, 1923: if there is any temporary or partial disablement caused to the employee due to some accident during the course of the employment. Then the Act would prevail and the concerned workman can claim compensation for the same.

iv.The Minimum wages Act. 1948: this act was to secure the minimum wages to the employee, that wages should be in such a way that their bare minimum needs is been met with such wages. This Act wants to prevent the Exploitation of workers and aims at fixing minimum wages which an employer has to provide.

v. National Rural Employee Guarantee act, 2005: this is for manual unskilled labour, and wages for the same will be granted for 100 days. In this act,priority is given to women in work allocation. The intention of the act is to develop a positive impact on gender equity.

Out of the above mentioned Acts, we have special Acts namely:

a.The Equal Remuneration Act;

b. The Maternity Benefits Act;

c. The Protection of women from Sexual Harassment Act

And also Constitution Grants power to enact any other special laws for women according to Art.15 (3), as this was to counteract the suffering their maternal ancestor’s have gone through centuries back.

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