Women’s Mental Health and Human Rights at Workplace in India - An Analysis

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Dr. Adinarayana J.


Any women who understand the problems of running a home will be nearer to understand the problems of running a country.” – Margaret Thatcher

Women constitute half of world population and makeup a significant percentage of the labor work force. In this regard, the United Nations (UN) has chartered gender-specific laws to protect the rights and interests of working women. In the last few decades Indian society has witnessed transition of women from their perceived conventional role in full-time household work to a larger participation in workforce. Globally, the Human Rights framework promotes the basic rights for both men and women. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed equal entitlements to all human beings on issues of education, housing and property, etc. However, women continue to face multiple challenges at workplace like sexual harassment, fear of job loss due to pregnancy, late night shift and so on which can be intimidating and have negative impact on their mental health. There is a bidirectional relationship between human rights and mental health. Violation of human rights has a negative effect on the individual’s mental health; inversely following human rights can positively influence the mental health. The laws are made to protect rights of working women, but it cannot be denied that the discrimination is structurally embedded in our society. At the level of society, structural changes, change in attitude towards women is required. There is a high demand to raise the awareness on women’s rights at workplace and women must advocate their rights. The first part of this paper discloses the mental health of Indian women at workplace. The second part consists of human rights of Indian working women, few relevant case lawswhereinIndian women were given justice and the general association of these with the mental health of working women worldwide. At the end, suggestions are made to increase the awareness and strict implementation of the laws for the mental well-being of working women.

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