Monday, January 18, 2010

Equal Opportunity and Discrimination In Work Place

Anti-Discrimination policy for women at workplace was coined back forty years ago when U.S congress passed an Equal Pay Act of 1963 allowing women the freedom to receive the same pay as their male colleagues. Moreover, this act was mostly set as an example by almost all other the other countries that later began the process of anti-discrimination and equal opportunity for women in all fields of life.

Anti-discrimination policies that allow women with lesser to compete with males of skills more than women do is considered to be a positive discrimination for women. This practice is also called quota system in many countries. The procedure is basically followed in bureaucracy where much of the employments are made through hiring people from different race, religion and educational background. The quota system in effect allows peoples with unequal educational levels to compete on the same ground.

Many countries, such as the sub-continent (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) follow similar steps of quota system or positive discrimination as it is known in general to allow women to participate in politics, government institutions and state organizations. This allows women to have more opportunity then males to excel in career without having a specified educational criterion.
The anti-discrimination policy that tends to allow less skilled women labor to work as much of with highly skilled male labor is however banned in some countries. This kind of positive discrimination is banned in the United Kingdom. Much of the critics point out flaws in the positive discrimination being provided and mark them as leverage for being a woman. They point out that many take advantage of the affirmative discrimination by identifying themselves as deprived and take over employment of those who are deserving individuals.

Moreover, apart from work related arguments, Gary K. Clabaugh writes in one of his articles about the negative effect of positive discrimination on college students. He gives a comparative example of a Hispanic wealthy girl in U.S and an American white boy who has hardly managed money to support his tuition. Despite all what he had done to enter college, the Hispanic might be selected because of her race and gender. The mere purpose was to show the demerits of positive discrimination in society. Therefore, such laws have raised question about the threats it poses to rise of injustice.

On the contrary, Affirmative actions for women also have some benefits. The past we had seen was in desperate need for affirmative action like policies. Women in the past were allowed only to work as teachers, nurses, or mates. This caused them to become demotivated and remain economically poor not allowing them to social progress. Affirmative action policies later allowed women to excel as a strong and efficient work force. Women were hired as doctors, lawyers, construction workers, top executives, corporate CEO’s, police officers, combat pilots in the military, and even U.S. Secretary of State, and other occupations that were usually destined for men. Positive discrimination further also allowed women. Moreover, on a racial basis, African Americans were not allowed better jobs just because of their color. This trend later diluted due to the implementation of positive discrimination which caused equal opportunity for everyone.

Therefore, it is true that positive discrimination for women and other race related issues have been misused and have been discredited by many critics; but it is also imperative that one should know what really caused the concept to come to existence. It is this anti-discrimination for a woman (positive discrimination in reality) that has caused the society to progress in ideology of freedom that we see and experience today.


1. Masselot, A. , 2007-07-25 "Deep Impact: Mapping the Impact of Anti-Discrimination Law" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, TBA, Berlin, Germany . 2009-05-24 from
2. Hirsh, E. and Kornrich, S. , 2004-08-14 "The Context of Discrimination: The Impact of Firm Conditions on Workplace Race and Gender Discrimination" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Hilton San Francisco & Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco, CA, Online PDF. 2009-05-26 from
3. Gary K. Clabaugh (2000). Positive Discrimination. Retrieved July 28, 2009
4. Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia. (2003). Discrimination. MSN. Retrieved July 28, 2009 from: Discrimination.

No comments:

Post a Comment