Status of Women in the West (11)
As you know, with the advent of industrialization and building of factories around the world, economic activities went through major changes. These changes were mainly characterized by taking women out of homes to the workplaces.
This trend, apparently caused women to show their capabilities; while in effect, it created a new form of gender inequality in which women were employed at secondary and insignificant jobs. This inequality was manifested more when the employed women called for playing their maternal role, as well. Evidence shows that the lack of enough support has threatened the job security of women in many western countries.
One of the causes of gender pay inequality in the western countries is the wrong view on having child in these countries. Michelle Budig, professor of sociology from the University of Massachusetts, believes that employers often look contemptuously at the women who have children. These women usually have problem in finding a job and are considered more like unreliable employees; hence they are never paid as much as their male colleagues.
Statistics indicate that the unmarried women may receive 96% of the wage of men in equal conditions; but the figure plummets to 77% immediately after marriage. These circumstances are even worse for low-income women who give birth. Due to enjoying less privileges and lower access to childcare- like what is provided in nurseries- they might be forced to reduce their working hours and, eventually, get lower wages or leave work after childbirth.
The American researcher believes that the employers consider fathers more stable and committed. After all, these people have families which they have to make money for; thus, they are less likely to be heedless. This, while, in view of the employers, women work less when they give birth and are likely to have lower concentration.
Studies indicate that not only men, but also women who hold managerial posts, are more intended to pay more to their male employees and, at the time of wage increase, first consider the male employees. This is more rampant when female workers have children. It is said that female workers lose 4% of their salary for each child delivery. This is the cost that women pay for motherhood. Women, due to maternal leave, often lose the chance of promotion. After childbirth, too, they have to either accept simple jobs or work in jobs which are much lower than their capabilities. The reason is clear. Either they should employ people to look after their children or dedicate more time on their job. Such problems have caused many skilled and expert women in the west to shoulder off their maternal responsibility.
According to the researches of University of Chicago, only half of the American women are inclined to have child ten years after graduation. Another research reveals that only 7% of working women in the US are inclined to return to their previous job after having child. In Switzerland, too, 40% of working women are childless and many of them delay childbirth for years.
For poor families, it is a great nightmare to work and have child simultaneously. Upbringing children imposes heavy expenses on families and that's why they prefer to forget about the issue in the first place. Now let us listen to the remarks of Ms. Akhundan,
"Today, in the western societies employment of women is raised as the primary and most important role of a woman and the maternal and marital roles and continuation of cultural traditions are regarded as secondary and subsidiary role. But another point to note is that the expense of unlimited bringing of women to the job market- with the pretext of gender equality- are the nursery schools and these schools raise children who are more dependent on their instructors than their parents; and in the future these children will turn into merciless people. Thus, the parents who send their children to nursery school should expect to be sent to old people's home by their children. Islam calls home as the center of calm and the most important place for education of human personality and emphasizes on the training of children so much so that the Prophet considered the hell as the punishment for inattention to the children."
According to a children's charity institute in Britain, 60% of working mothers believe that they have not enough time to take care of their children. 74% of the American parents are also preoccupied in this issue. Many children in the west suffer from separation from their mothers. Of course, in some countries measures have been taken to tackle this problem. For instance, in Austria, Czech Republic, Finland and Hungary working mothers who have children, receive three-year salary. However, the situation in the US is lower than other member states of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). The Unites States spends just 0.5% of its GDP for child-supportive programs. This figure is 1.3% in France and 2.7% in Denmark.
In most of the European countries, postnatal leave plus wage has been determined for mothers. But in some of these countries this leave is too short. The shortest term is in Britain, Australia and the US. British women have only 12.2 weeks of postnatal leave without salary. This figure is 7.6 weeks in Australia.
It is noteworthy that the United States, like New Guinea, is among the countries which have not ratified any law to support women's job security after childbirth. In the US women can enjoy the pregnancy and postnatal leave plus wage just for nearly 15 days.
Altogether, the lack of necessary supportive umbrella for mothers has seriously endangered their job security in the western countries. Pundits are of the opinion that an efficient legislative system is essential for materialization of women's real rights.