Despite significant progress in recent years, women in India still face significant challenges in accessing equal job opportunities and wages compared to their male counterparts.

Despite constitutional guarantees of equal rights, Indian women face societal and cultural barriers that limit their participation in the workforce, resulting in lower wages and fewer opportunities for professional growth.

Challenges faced:

One of the significant challenges women face in India is access to education. In many parts of the country, girls are expected to prioritize their domestic responsibilities over their education. As a result, many women do not have the necessary skills and qualifications to compete in the job market, leading to lower wages and fewer job opportunities. While this is slowly changing, with more women pursuing education and professional careers, there is still a long way to go to close the gender gap.

Another significant challenge faced by women in India is workplace discrimination. Women are often subjected to gender-based harassment, which can prevent them from being promoted or receiving equal pay for equal work. Additionally, many women are not given access to equal opportunities for professional development, limiting their ability to grow and advance in their careers.

Policies introduced by the Government:

Despite these challenges, there have been some positive developments in recent years. India has made significant efforts to address the issue of gender inequality in the workplace through various laws and policies. Some of the key laws and policies include:

1.The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976:

This Act ensures that men and women receive equal pay for equal work. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in matters of recruitment, promotion, and wages.

2.The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961:

This Act provides maternity leave and other benefits to women employees. The Act mandates that female employees are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave, which can be availed before and after childbirth.

Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013:

This Act defines sexual harassment and outlines measures for prevention and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace. It requires employers to provide a safe and harassment-free workplace for women.

3.The Companies Act, 2013:

This Act mandates that companies with a certain turnover or net worth must have at least one woman director on their board. This provision aims to increase gender diversity and representation in leadership positions.

4.The National Policy for the Empowerment of Women, 2001:

This policy aims to create an enabling environment for the empowerment of women. It focuses on issues such as education, health, economic empowerment, and political participation of women.

5.The Mahila E-Haat platform:

This is an online platform launched by the government to provide a platform for women entrepreneurs to sell their products and services. It aims to promote and support women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment.


While these laws and policies are a step in the right direction, implementation and enforcement remain a challenge. There is a need for greater awareness and sensitization among employers and employees about these laws and policies to ensure their effective implementation. Additionally, there is a need for continued efforts to address cultural attitudes towards women and their roles in society.


Written by: Anjali Bablani, an advocate practicing in Delhi NCR with over 7 years of experience. She has authored several articles on various topics and is passionate about women empowerment, Human right and environmental law.


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