A holistic approach is essential if we want to build a strong economic, socio-political, and cultural system. We can’t ignore any aspect of it. Ensure gender equality and national economic growth, it takes careful thought, planning and analysis. Everything will come together once economic empowerment is in full swing. It will reduce violence against women, harassing, abuses, and any other type of crime against women. This will be achieved by making women economically independent, raising their social standing and implementing gender justice.
The question is: Are workplaces ready to accommodate women employees or are they able to create a welcoming work environment for them? There is always a gap or a deviation, I have to admit. Our system isn’t self-sufficient or sufficient to meet the physical and psycho-social needs of women. Women are uniquely able to perform many roles. It is a law of nature that a woman will become a mother. This is why women are often asked the question “Will you continue your job after marriage or being a mom?” She can still work, even though she is a mother and wife. She is entitled to work, to earn money and to be self-sufficient. Many women have said that they just need to return to work. But, I don’t think so. Both finding a job and returning to an old job are difficult. The belief that children and families will be hurt if women work is the main reason women are told not to work.
In most cases, women must leave their jobs. Some are forced to do so by their families, others are forced to quit because of societal pressure, and still others are forced to quit because they don’t like the work environment. It is necessary to amend the core HR policies so that women don’t have to quit their jobs because of workplace incontinences. The 26-week Maternity Leave Period can be extended to ensure that a mother is healthy, her child is healthy, and the nation is developed. A woman who has just had a baby and is still healing from it can often have difficulty returning to work.
Employers can assist new mothers in their return to work. Can we not take active steps to achieve gender justice if we have been fighting for it? All government and private offices should have the ability to appoint new mothers, as well as to welcome their older women employees with their newborn, if they wish to keep their jobs. It will be hard, but it is possible.
1) A special space or set-up: Every workplace should have a place where new mothers can work, breastfeed and care for their baby. Employers should decrease the work load for the first two-thirds of their employees. They already have to take care of the baby, which can be a difficult task. Women must also recover from giving birth and have to get up at night to feed the baby and change diapers. It becomes very difficult for them to handle a lot of work. They should be given a limited number of tasks that they can complete in a reasonable amount of time. You can set up separate work hours and decrease their weekly, daily, and monthly work hours. An office can have no more than two to three cases at once. Give the new moms a secure workplace. Women who work and earn will contribute to our country’s economic growth. They can also be independent, self-sufficient, and economically empowered. It is not enough to have big discussions about gender equality. It requires action.
2) Comfort and empathy: Employers must have a calm, positive attitude toward new mothers. They shouldn’t be rigid or strict as they were before. Employers should ask new mothers about their needs and problems. You should provide them with different facilities so they don’t have to go back and forth between work. They should be supported by other employees. To create a supportive environment for mothers, you can establish a parent employee group and offer employees assistance programs. This will allow co-working parents to connect, share ideas, and access resources and facilities. They can also use it as an information centre. They can also share information about day care facilities, nutritionists and time management.
3) Flexible leave policies are important: It is essential that the policies for new mothers be flexible. They should have the right to take leave whenever they need, so they don’t miss any immunizations or health checks.
4) New moms can work remotely: While I don’t claim that all jobs are suitable for remote work (although they do exist), it is best to allow them to work from home whenever possible. This requires careful planning and thought.
5) On-site health and creche facilities: Employees who provide on-site medical care for both mothers and their children will save time and be able to get routine checks in the office. This means they don’t need to travel far. Creche facilities are also available for children over 3 years old. While large companies may be able to invest from their CSR funds, small businesses can raise funds and charge nominal fees from beneficiaries. They will have access to all facilities. Safety and security must always be top priority. C.C TV coverage should be available, registers should not be broken, and outsiders should not be permitted to enter. Staff should also be well-trained.
6) Counseling and stress relief: New mothers should receive psycho-social counseling, yoga, and meditation to ensure a healthy work/life balance. This will help reduce stress, which can be harmful for their health. Employers should have strong HR policies to support new mothers returning to work after childbirth. This will decrease the rate of women unemployed and ensure that no woman has to quit her job. The companies will not have to lose multi-tasking, skilled, and experienced employees. Women can become financially independent and more self-reliant, which will reduce the crime against them. It will eliminate poverty in the country. They can also contribute to the country’s economic growth by being proud tax payers.