BY ANJALI SINGH
The Constitution of India has recognized the ethic of ‘Equal Pay For Equal Work’ under Article 39(d). But does anyone take it seriously? In India, the gender pay gap is 19%, based on the 2019 Monster Salary Index (MSI). Why are women in India not seen worthy of getting paid equally as men for equal work?
The gender pay gap has come to notice again and all thanks to Deepika Padukone. Recently, we saw her raising a voice for pay disparity. We all have witnessed her incredible journey in Bollywood. Despite being a top actress, highest-paid, and most successful actress in Bollywood, she has to face the gender pay gap.
It is unimaginable to think what would have happened to other actresses. According to reports, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali declined her demand for equal remuneration as her husband Ranveer Singh.
Is that how our directors are? Is unequal pay for equal work that common? This decline led her to turn down the film ‘Baiju Bawra’ and we all find it fair enough to do so.
Paying a penny less or penny more based on gender and not on creative contribution or skill is so disreputable. This is not the first time an actress has raised a voice against wage disparity. Many actresses in the past have openly denounced Bollywood for treating women unfairly in terms of fees.
“If a female actor asks more, she is termed difficult and problematic and if a man asks more it’s a mark of his success.” Tapsee Pannu
The harsh reality is whenever an actress demands equal pay for equal work, she gets removed and replaced. Is it okay to replace your first choice just because she asked for an equal fee as her male counterparts? It is so sad, women of color have to fight for something they deserve. Why is it so difficult for people, especially men sitting in privileged positions, to see their hard work and worth? Are these men afraid of women’s potential? Or are the blood, sweat, and tears of men more valuable than women’s?
Gender Wage Disparity- A ‘Global’ Problem
Well, this gender pay gap is not just limited to Bollywood. It’s everywhere, in every field. “Gender pay gap is a global problem. It exists in every profession”, said Priyanka Chopra. Whether it’s the healthcare sector, agriculture, social work, manufacturing, corporate world, or sports, gender discrimination is there.
We have to keep this conversation of gender pay disparity going. This idea of paying women less irrespective of how much value they put is so wrong and deeply rooted. It is another reason for making women feel undervalued. No reason justifies gender-based pay discrimination when you’re working under similar conditions, contributing equally, giving the same results as men. Women of color are not here to get less than what they deserve. Paying women isn’t enough unless their paychecks are equal to men working in the same field with the same responsibilities.
Never settle for less!