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Demand rises for inclusion of work places for women with disabilities

April 30, 2019

8 March was celebrated as International women's day to salute the power of women across the globe. Even though there are many discussions about empowerment of women, there are numerous challenges that need to be tackled. Women with disabilities are vulnerable to bigger challenges, especially at work, outdoors and even inside their own homes. It is high time inclusion is rightly implemented so that women with disabilities are empowered.

The year 2018 threw light on many issues faced by women with and without disabilities. Like for instance, the #MeToo challenge gained popularity across the globe. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 is now being widely discussed across India. Many ventures have been successful in implementing the act as well. Unfortunately, many disabled women, even those who work in big companies, refuse to speak up about their disability. The question here arises on why someone needs to hide their disability? Many women with developmental disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or even autism tends to keep mum about their disability.

Undoubtedly, societal stigma plays a huge role in this. It is high time that people talk about their disabilities. There are many ways in which disabled women can demand for equality at their work place. To begin with, it is ideal to talk about your disability to your co-workers too.

Anuradha Krishnamoorthy, is the Founder of Krea eKnowledge Pvt Ltd. and Can DO, a CSR initiative that provides training and employment for people with disabilities.

There are many disabled people who are educated and skilled. But they lack opportunities. Disabled women face much discrimination at work place always when compared to men. In fact, disabled girls are not provided opportunities to even study because families think they are going to be a burden and cannot earn for themselves. We train a lot of female telecallers. Our clients demand female telecallers the most than men because women are good at convincing! So how can you say women are not in demand? Undoubtedly, managers also have a great role to play in uplifting them-Anuradha Krishnamoorthy, Founder, Krea eKnowledge Pvt Ltd. and Can DO

Most of the times, women are afraid of being judged at their work place because they have a disability. This leads to even bigger problems like depression that cannot be tackled easily. Have you tried talking about your disability to co-workers? It might help both parties to get a better understanding of each other. Moreover, discrimination against disabled women, even if it is at their work place, is not accepted anymore. There are many laws that protect women. Even stronger is the RPWD Act, 2016 which ensures that no disabled person faces harassment or discrimination.

In order to make work place happier and healthier for disabled women, managers must create a support system. It does not have to be about meetings and awareness sessions of disabilities. Even small things that colleagues can do matters!

When it comes to remuneration, disabled women face discrimination. One reason is their gender and the other one is a disability. Even though the RPWD Act, 2016 clearly states that women with disabilities must have equal opportunities at work place, it is hardly implemented.

Raja Rajasekharan P is the Co-founder and Director of v-shesh, an award winning organization that prepares job seekers with opportunities and organizations with disability inclusion.

"Women, whether they are disabled or not, faces a lot of discrimination at work places. Timings can be a problem for women with and without disabilities. Working in night shifts is not an easy task. It gets amplified when it is a women with a disability. Discrimination against disabled women must be dealt with strong policies at work places", says Rajasekharan.

Voices of women, especially women with disabilities, have been ignored and sidelined. It is high-time that even women's groups come out and speak up for women with disabilities. Meanwhile, women can connect with support groups where there are other people with similar disabilities.

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