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Why should a woman's marital status matter for a job search? Have you ever been discriminated against for being married or single?
The other day I was talking to a male friend who is in the process of setting up a new business. While chatting with him about his potential employees, he joked about paying a certain employee less, because she was single and did not have to be paid as much as a married woman. I shot him a dirty look and we exchanged words, as friends do. But at the end of the day, I know that he was joking. The problem however is that not everyone who deals with this sort of situation is.
A woman’s marital status is still a big deal as far as her employment prospects are concerned. Last month I wrote about women in the Indian army. My post was about women getting long term commissions and combat roles, and this is a job posting, I came across while researching for the post.
“Indian Army invites applications from married/unmarried male and unmarried female and also from widows of Defence Personnel for grant of Short Service Commission”
You can see this online here.
So in short, married women seem to be persona non-grata.
The discrimination is not just limited to the Army though. Far from!
And it is also not just the married women who take a hit. A little more digging on Google led to this query on an HR forum
“Dear All, Do we have any Law in India against Discrimination in Employment /workplace . I am aware that in the US there are many laws protecting employees against discrimination on the grounds of Gender , Age ,Race , Religion ,marital status etc . During a recent interview one of my friends was asked by the prospective employer if she was planning to get married in the near future. The profile had nothing to do with the marital status. These questions are a form of discrimination.”
A friend who works as an HR recruiter in Bangalore tells me that there are many companies who choose to ignore female bachelors degree holders, in the age group of 22- 26 for entry-level positions. The unsaid implication is that these women are most likely to get married and move or quit or get pregnant and then go on leave and so might end up being a liability for the company. Men with the same qualifications and in the same age group, however face no such issues in getting recruited.
Why is a woman’s career inextricably linked to her family life?
So much so that when Forbes releases a list about the most powerful women in the world, their profiles also mention whether they are married or not and whether they have kids or not.
As long as a woman has a strong resume, why should her marital status come into play?
Anyone out there who has had to face discrimination on the basis of their marital status?
Would love to hear from you on how you dealt with it.
Pic credit: Grand Velas Riviera (Used under a Creative Commons license)
Shweta Ganesh Kumar is a writer, blogger and creator of the modern Indian parenting blog ‘The Times Of Amma’,and 'Inkspire' - the digital platform for aspiring Indian writers. She was awarded the prestigious UN Laadli read more...
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Marriage is often described as the joining of two individuals’ bodies, minds, and souls. Upon getting married, you are expected to share everything with your partner, including time, money, and all other aspects of life. Your life should revolve around your spouse from beginning to end.
But is it necessary to spend every waking moment with the spouse? Are you not supposed to have a life apart from your spouse? And do these rules apply only to women or men as well?
Although both men and women may face this situation, women are generally expected to give up everything once they get married. Despite progress in several areas, expecting women to abandon their interests, passions, and friendships to align their lives with those of their spouses is still considered the norm.
The rising numbers of single women choosing this life shout out clear and loud that patriarchy and sexism will no longer break or chain us.
Another book on singlehood? It seems to be the season for books on the joys and freedom of being single. But Demystifying and Dignifying Singlehood: Life Journeys of Single Women Across the Globe by Uma Jain is different. The book does not glorify or glamourise the lives of single women in any way. These are real stories – with the good, the bad and the ugly, all there.
The book tells the stories of 15 single women across the world. A feeling of deep understanding and empathy fills you as you read the book and understand the challenges faced by the women who are single – by choice or chance. Some of the women chose to be single because they faced discrimination and even abuse as girl children. Some others had abusive marriages and sought divorce.
The tag line ‘Crafting pathways on rough terrains’ on the cover page is enough to tell you that this is a serious take on the issue of singlehood. If it focuses more on the rough than the smooth, that has been the reality for the 15 women.
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