Kerala to conduct a gender audit

Steps to ensure equal pay for women in workplaces

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bid to woo women ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said his government would conduct a gender audit across workplaces to ensure pay for women on par with their male colleagues.

Speaking at a Face-to-Face programme organised for women in Kochi, the chief minister said earlier the emphasis was on educating the women. However, it is time now to create more jobs to accommodate women. The proposed gender audit will help in identifying the opportunities for women in different workplaces besides helping the government to draw a plan for pay parity with males, he said.

He called for more gender-neutral jobs in different spheres. “Women need to have greater options in the work force," he said.

Pinarayi said Kerala has been at the forefront of implementing women-friendly policies. The state introduced menstrual leave for students in all state universities under the higher education department.

Kerala has the highest percentage of women working in higher education, according to the National Survey on Higher Education.

The chief minister pointed out that Kerala had taken a significant step in 1997 by introducing gender budgeting for women in local government bodies.

Pinarayi highlighted the growing role of women in the start-up sector. Of the newly launched startups in Kerala, 40 per cent of entrepreneurs are women and out of Rs 8000 crore investment in the startup sector, Rs 1500 crore is from women entrepreneurs, he said and added “Financial freedom is important for women to gain social progress.”

The chief minister hailed the role of women in making the Sanitation Mission and the Green Army of the state a big success. He called upon women to play a greater role in society, especially in the wake of attempts being made to communalise faith. "Women can also manage the "social waste" of communalism which pollutes the entire society” he said.

Pinarayi said one should be able to differentiate between faith and communalism. Matters related to faith and belief are being projected as symbols of aggressive communalism with ulterior motives. “Women have a major role to play in making the young generation understand the devious and dubious attempts being made by certain quarters to communalise faith,” he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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