Vol. 4, Issue 3 (2017)
Problems faced by the domestic workers at workplace: A study in erode district of Tamil Nadu
Author(s): Dr. Shinie Poulose
Abstract: The role of women in the development of economy and society is not less important than man, who constitutes almost the half of the total world population. Women work at a variety of tasks leaving little time for leisure. They have little control over the income they earn for the family. They also have little control over the productive resources. Women in the third world countries are found working in various spheres such as in the agricultural fields, in the plantations, in the orchards, in cottage and small-scale enterprises and in manufacturing and so on. In every sphere of economic activity they contribute lot but what they get in exchange is always less than what their male counterparts get for the same type of job. Over last few decades, there have been a rapid growth in the number of women employed in India with majority of them being engaged in informal sector of the economy where jobs are often low paid and repetitive. Since the domestic service is considered as a tedious job, most of the women workers involved in this work are coming from economically poor families and also illiterate. As there is no minimum wage fixed and as the Minimum Wages Act does not cover the domestic workers, the employers are free to pay what they want, irrespective of quantum and hours of work. Verbal sexual harassment by the male employers is something that is generally very common. Most of the workers being less educated, the awareness to form a union is lacking among them. Hence, there is immense scope for exploitation of these workers, as there is no written contract between the employer and domestic worker. This scope for exploitation further expands with the fact that the bargaining power of these domestic workers is almost zero. Thus, it is necessary to identify the level of problems faced by the women domestic workers while doing their services.