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Women’s Safety in the Workplace: How Important Is It and How to Ensure?

Have you thought about Women's Safety in the workplace? How important is it, and how to achieve it? Women have the right to be free of violence, harassment, and discrimination. Removing the barriers that create an unsafe environment can help women reach their full potential as individuals and contributors to their workplaces, communities, and economies.

 

Women's lives can be marred by violence and prejudice, preventing them from fully participating in the workplace, society, and economy. Many women feel discouraged from seeking employment due to sexual harassment at work. A low female labor force participation rate (FLRP) in India may be due to this.

  Trending topic: What do women want from their workplaces in 2022?

In the communities where we operate, we should work towards bettering women's rights and safety.

  Contents List    

Facts and Figures

  • Based on a survey conducted by EllisDon, a world leader in construction and building services, four out of ten Canadians have experienced harassment at work - a rate significantly higher for women (50%) than men (33%).
  • As per a recent study published by the World Bank on 'Women Business and the Law', India's rank on gender equality in 2022 fell to 124th among 190 countries from 123rd a year ago and 117th in 2020.
  • According to research from Lean In and SurveyMonkey, 57% of working women have encountered workplace harassment, which has harmed their security and professional advancement.
  • Even though 71% of firms have revised their sexual harassment policies since the #MeToo movement began, women continue to encounter widespread sexual harassment in the workplace.
 

Significance of Women's Safety

Every company, and firm should be committed to supporting women's rights, including the right to safety of women and girls. Women's workplace safety has become more critical in recent years, thanks to women who have spoken out about sexual and mental harassment they have experienced at work.

Sexual harassment, mental harassment, gender discrimination, unwelcome or insulting comments about female coworkers, uncomfortable and unacceptable actions by colleagues or employers, and so on are all examples of workplace harassment.

 

Why Should We Focus on Workplace Safety for Women?

 

Women's safety at the workplace is most important because:

  1. It helps them to carry out their work efficiently. A woman wants a safe place to work without any unwelcome distractions.
  2. It helps women to be calmer. Workplace harassment is traumatizing, and leads girls and women to suffer from depression and degrading mental health.
  3. If coworkers or bosses sexually harass a woman, it can lower productivity and increase absenteeism in the workplace. The employee's health and well-being are badly harmed.

It is critical to treat male and female employees equally. Many women have raised their voices against the unjust treatment, leading to the passage of numerous laws and measures in this area.

 

Must Read: What Is Workplace Wellness?

 

How to Ensure Workplace Safety for Women?

Some measures that can be used to safeguard women in their workplace are:

  1. Stringent legislation
  2. Laws and regulations relating to women's safety in the workplace should be strictly enforced. Every enterprise and factory that employs women should make sexual harassment a zero-tolerance policy. Even rules adopted across the country should be carried out without discrimination.

     

  3. Greater awareness
  4. Increased knowledge among male employers and employees so that they can assist rather than threaten their female coworkers for sexual favours. Women should also be made aware of their rights in the workplace when it comes to sexual harassment. HR should make sure that all employees know their rights and responsibilities.

     

  5. Self-defense training
  6. Self-defense training for women should be provided so that they may protect themselves from rape and harassment. Various institutions should develop self-defense programmes, and more women should participate in these programmes.

     

  7. A safe and healthy job climate
  8. All employees should have a safe and healthy working environment. Employee participation and productivity will rise, while absence and turnover will decrease. Women will be able to maintain their careers in this manner and will not be compelled to leave them.

     

  9. Platform to express concerns
  10. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redress) Act of 2013 ("POSH Act") has made ICC mandatory for both private and non-private employers to ensure women's safety in the workplace.

    A harassed woman has 90 days from the date of the occurrence to file a complaint. If a woman is uncomfortable expressing herself around ICC, a coworker, friend, or relative can file a complaint on her behalf. However, they will require her formal permission to do so.

    The ICC then assumes responsibility for conducting a thorough investigation into the matter. The investigation should be completed within 90 days. A report must be given within ten days of completion. To combat sexual harassment in the workplace, each company with ten or more workers must join an ICC.

     

  11. Encourage vocational training among women
  12. Every woman should be provided vocational training, and an entrepreneurial skill must be imbibed into them to become independent, and it will reduce gender discrimination.

     

  13. Arranging counseling sessions for women
  14. Having healthy Mental health is essential for excelling in the workplace. Counselors should be hired, and they should take sessions where they can listen to women and their issues regarding work or fellow employees. It's always better when there is someone to listen to your problems and advice on tackling them.

     

  15. Provide equipment for the safety of women
  16. The corporation or organization should plan to procure protective equipment for female personnel, such as pepper spray. In addition, every organization should have a permanent active redressal committee to safeguard women's safety.

 

Should You Follow These Safeguard Measures for Women's Safety?

The workplace is like a second home for most of the employees as most of the time of an employee, be it male or female, is spent inside their office, so keeping the office safe is very necessary. Providing respect and decency for your fellow employees is the minimum expected behavior in a workplace.

 
Conclusion:

The safety of women in the workplace has become a significant concern. Most victims are found in the informal sector, where they lack the resources to exercise their rights. Women in the formal sector are more educated and can use social media and redress legislation to speak out against men who sexually abuse them. On the other hand, uneducated women normalize their male coworkers' everyday agony. As a result, we still have a long way to go to protect every woman in the country from professional harassment.

 

FAQs

 
  1. Why is women’s safety important in India?
  2. Women's safety in India has now become a big concern. The country's crime rates against women have only climbed dramatically. Women are hesitant to leave their houses, particularly late at night. Unfortunately, this is the tragic reality of our country, which is constantly in terror.

     
  3. What are some gender-related issues at work?
  4. The Top 5 Workplace Issues Fueling Gender Inequality are given below:

    • Pay disparities
    • Harassment of women. Sexual harassment is a barrier that many women experience in the workplace.
    • Racism
    • Women are promoted at a lower rate than males
    • Fear of being paid what you're truly worth
     
  5. What laws protect the rights of women?
  6. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is often credited with giving women more job independence and the ability to expect equal treatment. Despite obstacles such as glass ceilings and other barriers, the act's enactment was a huge legal achievement.

     
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