Bir Bahadur Biswokarma, a local of Golanjor Rural Municipality-7, and his wife Chanmaya Biswokarma have been working as agriculture wage labourers for their living.
Working in the farm of others is their daily routine. Their working hours are also the same. However, Chanmaya still doesn’t get wages at par with her husband and other male counterparts despite doing the same work.
According to her, she is paid Rs. 600 per day for her work while her husband receives Rs. 1,000 for the same work.
“My husband ploughs the field by using a wooden plow and I do the same work using mattock. But my husband has been receiving almost double the wage I receive, which is not fair.” said Chanmaya.
“We know that it’s unfair but we cannot afford to not work,” she said, adding that she and other women of the district had to take what they are given by their employers, else their family would have no means of survival.
She further lamented that since men are paid more than women, they were left alone to do all the household chores.
Though the government has fixed equal wages for equal work, many women like Chanmaya are still paid less than their male counterparts.
Chanmaya is just an example. Other women of the district have similar ordeal to share.
“Women working in all sectors, as construction workers or agricultural and non-agricultural labourers, are being paid less than the male counterparts for the same work,” said Sita Sarki, a local of Pokharel Gaun in Kamalamai Municipality-4.
“We are paid less than men, no matter how hard we work, no matter in how harsh conditions we work,” she said.
Due to unequal payment, women have been facing discrimination in the work place as well, said Sarki, adding, “They (men) drink alcohol in the work place and if we speak against such act then they claim that they can drink because they earn more.”
When asked about the unequal payment, landlord Chetnarayan Baral of Golanjar Rural Municipality-7, said men were being paid more than women because they do more risky work than the women labourers.
He said that women did not put as much work and effort into their job.
Bidur Thapa of Kamalamai Municipality-6 said if they provided equal wages to male and female labourers, then men refuse working, citing that they feel insulted.
Dilmaya Ramtel, an agriculture-based labourer of Andheri, Kamalamai Municipality-6, shared there was not just a disparity in payment. They were given less food during the working hour.
“Women are given food only after feeding the male workers. Men are given food until they are full, but we are given only leftovers,” she shared.
Not only in the private sector but also in government projects, women are being paid less. Men working as construction workers get Rs. 1,000 to 1,500 a day, while their female counterparts receive only Rs. 600.
The District Coordination Committee (DDC) has fixed a wage of Rs. 1,060 for a skilled man. However, the DDC has not fixed wages for the agriculture workers.
Chairman of Golanjor Rural Municipality Pushpa Bahadur Karki said there should be no disparity in pay between men and women.
Source : TRN,