Women are the pillar of society and play an important role in society, in all fields of life, without their participation no society can nurture properly. From the ancient time, women have been equally participating with their men, but their participation in labor force has not been given the same consideration as men collect from their work. Women are still expected to perform the duties of household in spite of their working status. Working women in India are faced with lot more challenges than their counterparts in the other parts of the world. So the major burden of running the family is on the shoulders of women. It was alright for women to handle all the chores as long as they were homemakers. Now with their increasing need for getting some income for the family, they have to work all the more harder. Globalization has indeed raised hopes of women for a better and elevated status arising out of increased chances to work but, at the same time, it has put them in a highly contradictory situation where they have the label of economically independent paid workers but are not able to enjoy their economic liberty in real sense of the term.
Migration and Poverty Reduction
Migration and poverty reduction have become one cardinal policy issue in developing countries. Due to the fact that many rural communities are left behind in relation to benefitting from the process and outcomes of development, a huge number of people cross regional and provincial boundaries in search of alternative livelihood sources. Although internal migrants far outnumber international migrants, scholarship in the migration field seems to have focused much attention on international migration. This is perhaps due to the increasingly huge amount of remittances from international migrants to their home countries and its implications for poverty and human development. Similarly, in India, internal migrants run into millions while international migration is only a small fraction (Srivastava and Sasikumar, 2003).Most studies have shown that internal migration has some positive implications for poverty reduction (Castaldo et al., 2012; Ping 2005; ) although others (for example Dang, 2003) see it as counter-productive. Following this line of argument, there is an emerging academic and policy debate about whether internal migration should be used as a conventional poverty reduction tool. Although nationally representative data on internal remittances are lacking in most countries, which hampers our understanding of the role of migration in poverty reduction and development, there ismounting evidence through micro-studies as well as larger surveys that migration can reduce poverty, inequality and contributes to overall economic growth and development.
Internal migration has greater potential for poverty reduction, meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and contributing to economic growth in developing countries than does international migration. This is because of four things. First, internal migration stems from a broader base where smaller sums of money are evenly distributed to specific areas and poor families through internal remittances (rather than international remittances, which reach fewer people). Second, it is likely that internal migration will continue to increase at a faster rate than international migration.2 Third, internal migration involves poorer people from poorer regions and has a strong role to play in achieving the MDGs. Fourth, it is an important driver of growth in many sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, construction, coastal economies and services (Priya Deshingkar,2006)
Female Workforce in North-eastern Region
The northeast India comprises of eight states with a topographical terrain completely different from the rest of India. It is the largest reservoir of biodiversity not only of India but also of the whole world. With the diverse flora and fauna it is unique in its topography. The majority of the tribal of India inhabit the six northeastern states. Therefore the culture and the tradition of the people are varied in nature. This has a direct implication on the population trend in the northeastern region. The geographical area of North-East is different from other part of India. The region is characterized by difficult terrain, wide variations in slopes, altitude, land tenure systems and diverse cultivation practices. The transport and communication system is poorly developed and as a result majority of the areas in the region remain still in accessible. Expanding women’s participation especially in ways that enhance their productivity and earning potential raises women’s own living standards and contribute to better economic performance, the reduction of poverty and improved family welfare. In case of North East it is observed that the contribution of primary sector to the Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) has been declining from 37% in 1980-81 to 26% in 1996-97 in Arunachal Pradesh, from 46% in 1980-81 to 29% in 1995-96 in Manipur, from 38% in 1980-81 to 24% in 1996- 97 in Meghalaya, from 28% in 1980-81 to 18% in 1993-94 in Nagaland, and from 46% in 1980-81 to 26% in 1996-97 in Tripura. The annual per capita net domestic product has been increasing over time in all of the states. If we examine the national level of women employment it has been seen that the Southern Zone was highest and lowest in the Central zone. The increased in employment in terms of percentage was highest in the North-Eastern Zone whereas the Western Zone recorded a negative growth of 1.7%. The work participation rate by gender shows that the males’ overall WPR registered an increase in 2001 and 2011, whereas the females’ overall WPR had increased in 1991 and 2001 but remained same in 2011. The male-female combined WPR had increased all throughout during the last three decades. For the males, their main worker’s WPR has declined and their marginal workers’ WPR has increased. For the females, their main workers’ WPR does not show any patters; it has increased between 1981 and 1991, it declined between 1991 and 2001, and thereafter shown an increase between 2001 and 2011. The WPR of female marginal workers had increased between 1981 and 2001, and thereafter it has shown a marginal decline in 2011. The work participation of Female is determined by various factors like structural factors as well as socio-cultural, i.e. family, caste, region, environment etc. and socio-cultural factors like attitudes, customs, family ideology, division labour etc.
Statement of the Problem
Women play a vital role in economic development of the country and their contribution is nothing short of their male counterparts. However there are still several issues and problems that women face today. Some of the issues are that they are not treated equally in their work place even if they do the same kind of work and they are considered as inferior to their male co-workers. In some cases they do not get the same benefits as that of a male employee. The major issues and problems that women face in their work places includes unequal pay, sexual harassment, lack of proper family support, deficient maternity leave, etc. Women in India have come a long way after Independence, from just skilled homemaker - women today have acquired skills and capabilities of not just being a homemaker but being at par with their male counterparts. There is no profession today where women are not employed. For centuries, women have been subjected to exploitation and torture physically, sexually and mentally. There are innumerable challenges and problems faced by them both at home and work place. Based on this focus, the researcher studied the factors influencing poverty and the problems of North East Migrant Women workers in Chennai.
Need And Importance Of The Study
Many of women employers in service sector just finish their primary and high school so; it is not possible for them to get appropriate job in better industry like IT and BPO Sector which require Graduates. Hence they opt to work in service sectors like Hotel sector, Retail Sector and beauty industry. Majority of them do not focus much on savings and promotion. A tiff with the employer and they leave the job without even getting their salary. The average duration of a migrant employee at a service sector is probably six months. The population of North-eastern community is increasing in the city and most of them migrate for jobs and very few for further studies. Many of them do feel that their westernized clothing and lifestyle do make them stand out in certain parts of the city in which they settle down. Many people work late into the night and have been victims of crime and polish harassment. Hence it is very important to study the factor influencing poverty and the problems faced by the North Eastern women employees in the service sector to find a way forward.
Research methodology is a systematic way to solve a problem. The researcher has adopted Descriptive Research Design for the study. The researcher has conducted a pilot study to find out the feasibility of the study and also to know the availability of the respondents. In quantitative method the researcher used interview schedule. Interview comprising 52 questions on factors influencing poverty, Social, economic, occupational and psychological problems were divided into five sections based on the objectives of the study undertaken. The study was conducted among the North Eastern Women Employees in Service Sectors like, Hotel Sector, Retail Sector, and Beauty Industries in Chennai. The researcher has adopted a snow ball sampling for this study. The total sampling size was 100. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for the data analysis
Results And Discussion
The researcher through this research particularly wants to study the factors influencing poverty and the problem faced by the North Eastern women employees in service sector in Chennai. After the analysis the researcher here to discuss the findings of the research with the existing studies. The Occupational stress is the by-product of complex industrial organization. Role stress may occur because of the conflict between work and non-work activities. It is very clear from the results that this day’s young girls are very aspirants and ambitious, they want to get a good job and be financially independent and live a better life. In this research majority of the respondents were below the age group of 25 years. We could see in this research that most of the respondents drop out from their schooling which is one of the major results that they didn’t get into better companies. They have stated in this research that they couldn’t study further due to family financial problem and many other draw back.
From this research we can see that majority of the respondents were single and independent. They have stated that they want to earn more and economically independent before they settle down. It is understood from the research that women employees in the service sector are struggling to find a good work environment as well as a good salary package. As we have seen in this studies that most of the respondent’s monthly income were below Rs. 10,000 which is not sufficient for them to save and also spend for personal purpose. It is clear that most of the respondents were working in general shift and they work for more than 6 days in a week and for more than 9 – 10 hours in a day. Women gradually prefer to work outside home in an attempt to improve upon their social position rather than bearing with dependency and coercion in the family. Even in this studies it shows that majority of the respondents wanted to stay away from home, in order to work and be financially independent and also to improve their social position.
In this research they found that more number of the respondents work in general shift. It will be comfortable for the women employees to balance with their personal responsibilities. In this study the respondents were not satisfied with the male counterpart how they behave and their attitudes towards women. Despite from the above studies, in this research there is no good relationship amongst the co-worker due to the working environment and the working condition differ. The Cumulative effect of odd working hours and stressful working environment leads to voice problem (dry, itchy throat, hoarseness, cracking of voice, cough, cold etc.), eye strain (itchiness, smarting, redness, tearing, dryness and pain due to lighting situations and uninterrupted used of computer for long hours), hearing problem (ear pain, ringing in ear), neck pain, shoulder problem, back and waist pain, mental and psychological stress. Even in this studies majority of the respondents has stated that they are suffering from many health issues. From this research it shows that majority of the respondents are not satisfied with the break timing during the work hours. Break timing should be adequate for all the employees and particularly for the women employees, as they do hectic work they must relax in between the working hours.
While recognizing that income is an important component of quality of life, the work of Sen (1987) moves to more complex definitions. Sen (1987) emphasizes the importance of capabilities to achieve certain freedoms, and others highlight the 6 multidimensionality of quality of life to include along with income, human development and security of life. In this studies majority of the respondents do not communicate with the supervisor or the manager. Employees who have supportive supervisors are more likely to perceive their organizational as well as family support and perceive they have more control over work and family, which in turn are related to lower level of work-family conflict. Whereas lack of work-related social support (including low supervisor support), increased work-family conflict, which in turn resulted in increased psychosomatic symptoms (anxiety, depression, somatic complaints) and also the result depicts that more than one third of the respondents sometimes have work pressure due to heavy work load.
Extrinsic job characteristics include job security, social protection and job satisfaction. Job security relates to contractual agreements (Dewan and Peek, 2007; Letourneux, 1998), social protection refers to benefits and insurance to reduce risk, and job satisfaction relates to the notion of what workers value (Freeman, 1978). Furthermore, in the context of employment representing quality of life, there is a growing literature on subjective well-being or happiness (Easterlin, 2001). Intrinsic job characteristics comprise job content, on-the-job training, working hours, and relationships with others at the work place (Beaston, 2005). Finally, some studies have attempted to develop a single index of employment quality (Leschke et al., 2008; Ghose, 1999). While the simplicity of an index has an inherent appeal, it is based on value judgments which determine indicators to be included and methods of scoring and weighting. In this study even most of the respondents were feeling angry and irritation due to over loading work and long hours of work particularly in the service sector.
The work profile in Service Sector will always be under pressure as there is more demand from the higher authority (Adam, 2005). Every employee must put their maximum efforts to meet the expectation in the work place on daily basis. If the respondents failed to do the task assign to them the supervisor or the manage yell at them in a hostile manner in front of all the co-worker and sometimes in front of the customer, which is embarrassing for them. All these problems occur because the respondents are not getting sufficient sleep which they need and in turn they couldn’t concentrate on the work. In this research we have seen that most of the respondents are suffering from multiple stresses related issues but they didn’t realized. They should be aware of all the stress related issues and take proper care of themselves. It is clear that majority of the respondents are suffering from backache and leg problem as the job require them to stand whole day in the work place. Another major problem found through qualitative studies is that most of the women employees are affected by menstrual disorder due to over loaded work and long hours of work, which they constantly faced every month.
A depressed mood, in and of itself, is the critical determinant, as depressed mood is necessarily accompanied by a significant increase in heart rate variability, although it has been reported to be associated with stress similar results were reported by different researches conducted by NIOSH suggesting that psychologically demanding jobs that allow employees little control over the work process increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Occupational stress represents a major problem for both individuals and organizations. Costs associated with occupational stress in terms of work days lost, absenteeism, and health costs have significant implications for the organization. Thus the researcher is concluding that women working in service sector are suffering from numerous challenges and the existing researchers are also proving the same. Hence, necessary steps should be taken to sort out the issue at the right time.
Suggestions And Recommendations
After carrying out vigorous analysis of the response given by the women employees, here the researcher wants to suggest on particular areas which are involved in controlling the issues faced by women employees in Service Sector. The following are the suggestive measures given by the researcher to overcome the problems faced by North Eastern Women Employees in Service Sector.
Social Work Interventions
Social Work is based on respect for the inherent worth and dignity of all the people and the rights that follow. Social Work grew out of the humanitarian and democratic ideals and its values are based on respect for the equality, worth, dignity of all the people. Social work Workers uphold and defend each person’s physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual integrity and well being. Social Work in its various forms addresses the multiple, complex transactions between people and their environments and aims at enabling all people to develop their full potential, enrich their lives and prevent dysfunction.
This paper sought to justify why internal migration may not always be a route out of poverty. Overall, it could be argued that the functional relationship between internal migration and poverty reduction is neither simple nor linear. The researcher has learned much from this study about her own Northeastern women who came down to the city for work about their life the hardship they faced in work and in personal lives every day. There is a growing influx of people migrating to the metros in search of a better life from Northeastern States. These people who come in search of jobs have low educational qualification like primary and high school which makes them employable only in the service sectors where there is low pay with high working hours. If they are young enough to continue and finish their higher studies they must complete and get their educational certificates which will help them to avail better job opportunities. Many Northeastern students come to the city for higher studies. But in this research, the selected respondents came in search of jobs; they too can work as well as study at the same time. They can do part time diploma courses or even do correspondence courses and finish their graduation which would earn a better livelihood and a brighter future.
Dr. J.M. Arul Kamaraj
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Loyola College, Chennai - 34
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