On Single Women Workers in India

On Aug. 25, The Washington Post published an important article by Emily Wax, “In India, New Opportunities for Women Draw Anger and Abuse from Men.”

In order to gain access to the article, you have to register at the site. It’s worth taking the time to do so.

Emily Wax reports on a disturbing trend: As employment opportunities for women in India have improved, men have become resentful. This resentment has manifested itself in harassment and sexual violence, particularly toward young, single female workers.

Sadly, horrific treatment of women is not unusual in many parts of the world. Violence against women in Darfur has been widely reported, as has abuse of women in Saudi Arabia.

What makes the situation in India somewhat different is the relationship the United States business community has with this particular country. India has developed into a center of commerce, technology, and innovation. Indeed, in today’s global economy, most major U.S. corporations now have significant operations in India.

Many of these corporations tout their diversity initiatives and programs for women. Many also cite social responsibility as a corporate mission.

It’s important that corporations realize the situation in India warrants both support of female employees and social responsibility.

Companies conducting business in and with India should be very clear in addressing this matter. They must let government officials know, in no uncertain terms, that harassment and sexual violence toward women will not be tolerated.

This is a human resource issue of utmost importance, and the business of women’s rights, of human rights, must be a priority for business leaders.

Paula Santonocito
Career Editor, SingleMindedWomen.com