We live in a country like India which is one of the fastest growing economies of the world and aims to become an economic superpower. However, we forget to take into account the fact that it is not possible for India to become an economic superpower unless we are able to achieve “equal pay for equal work‟. The problem of unequal pay for equal work can be studied under various heads like how the constitution guarantees it, where can discrimination be allowed and where it can’t be and most importantly in terms of gender pay gap. This fact holds true for various other industries too.
The preamble of the Constitution of India is an introduction to the Constitution and lays Down in brief the aims and objectives of the policy framers of the Union of India. It enunciates those socio-economic goals and ends which are to be achieved by the Indian Constitution. These goals are multitudinous in nature and secure for the citizens of India (in some cases for foreigners as well) a variety of rights and ensure justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity to all. Part IV of the Constitution lays down the Directive Principle of State Policy. These Directive Principles lay down the basic aims and objectives of the States, to be followed in the governance of the country. They are more or less the guidelines, directing the government as to what is to be kept in contemplation while framing the policies. The purpose for enunciating the extent of enforceability of directive principles of state policy is of relevance in the present topic because the concept of equality of pay i.e. “equal pay for equal work” being a part of these Directive Principles is to hold the same fate as other Directive Principles. However, the Courts in India and the Supreme Court in particular have constantly and consistently regarded the principle of equal pay for equal work as a constitutional goal, much higher than being a mere Directive Principle, and have subsequently enforced it in-tandem with the fundamental rights, enshrined under Right to Equality (Art. 14-18). The topic is of great relevance on the contemporary world as it is being felt that considering and stating that all men are equal is not enough but a concrete step or rather a series of steps need to be taken to bring the concept of classless society into existence and the applicability of the concept of equal pay for equal work is one of such steps, taken to wipe out any scope of unreasonable discrimination as which may occur or may be followed in any form of society when it comes to payment of remuneration
CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS RELATED TO EQUAL REMUNERATION IN INDIA
The concept of Equality of pay was incorporated under the Directive Principles of State Policy by the framers of the Constitution so as to follow the principles of Equality and make India a welfare State i.e. a country aimed at creating an egalitarian society. There are a number of provisions in the Constitution of India that ensure that there is equal pay for equal work in India especially when we talk of gender pay gap. These articles of the Constitution are as follows:
Article 14: Men & women to have equal rights & opportunities in the political, economic & social spheres.
Article 15(1): Prohibits discrimination against any citizen on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex etc.
Article 15(3): Special provision enabling the State to make affirmative discriminations in favour of women. Article 16: Equality of opportunities in matter of public appointments for all citizens.
Article 39(a): The State shall direct its policy towards securing all citizens men and women, equally, the right to means of livelihood.
Article 39(d): Equal pay for equal work for both men and women
Article 42: The State to make provision for ensuring just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.
Article 51 (A) (e): To renounce the practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
The right of equal pay for equal work was earlier available only through Directive Principles of State Policy under Article 39 of the constitution.
That is only concerned with the application of the concept of Equality of pay was restricted only up to the discrimination on basis of gender and sex. Thus, the framers of the Constitution incorporated this provision to wipe out any discrimination made against women or men in regards to the terms of pay. However, ongoing strictly according to the provision, it nowhere states that this concept of equality of pay is to be followed even in terms of employment as of between man and man or woman and woman i.e. it does not grant a right that man must be paid equally among themselves and woman among themselves if they perform the same kind of work. The aforesaid provision also does not state any distinction between the capacity of these men and women and that has to be constructed by the Courts themselves. Thus, it is clear that while framers of the Constitution incorporated this provision, they only kept in contemplation that there should not be any discrimination in terms of pay on grounds of sex or gender of the person.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge