For the last fifty years, workforce in the U.S has experienced numerous changes. Although the number of men in the workforce is still higher than that of women, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of working women. For instance, the percentage was thirty four in the 1950s and this has increased to sixty percent today.
These are clearly impressive statistics that prove that women have taken their rightful positions in the workplace. This probably can be attributed to various reasons. For instance, women nowadays do not get married as early as they used to in the past, they also take a longer period of time in advancing their education and bear fewer children.
A great number of them nowadays continue with their working life as well as attending to the roles that are traditionally associated with parents (Women’s Safety and Health Issues at Work 1).
At the workplace, women are faced by many challenges that are not faced by their male counterparts. This is partially due to the fact that men and women do not specialize in the same jobs. They usually have different types of jobs. Generally, there are work related cases that are associated with women.
Some of them include respiratory diseases, carpal tunnel syndrome, stress disorders, infectious diseases caused by parasites and anxiety. In addition, women are exposed to risks of illness and injuries at the workplace as a result of social, cultural and economic factors.
Some of the social factors may include marital problems and pressing family needs while economic ones include lack of enough finances to meet basic needs or bad debts. For example, a higher number of women than men take up part-time or contractual jobs. Contingent work is also in most cases associated with women. When compared with individuals who work in traditional job settings, contingent workers are lowly paid and enjoy limited benefits.
Most women do not have the confidence to raise safety issues since they believe that such actions could cost them their jobs or be exposed to unbearable working conditions. This is a characteristic of all employees who work in jobs that are insecure.
It is also common that they fear reporting injuries sustained at the workplace. In the American workforce, women from foreign countries popularly referred to as immigrants are vulnerable to workplace risks. They experience problems due to the immigrant status they carry and also issues as they try to balance family life and work.
They work in places that expose them to a higher rate of injuries as compared to their native counterparts. Sexual harassment may be the root cause of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and headaches among other complications (Women’s Safety and Health Issues at Work 3).
In my opinion, most women carry heavy burdens as they try to balance family responsibilities and work. This stresses them since they have to take care of children and the elderly. Women who find themselves in such situations may be at the risk of developing many physical and mental complications.
It is important for the relevant government departments to ensure that workplace discrimination does not exist. There should also be adequate safety mechanisms in all workplaces especially in industries where women have higher chances of getting injured. In the event of any injury at the workplace, organizations should take full responsibility in ensuring that the victims get medical attention and eventual compensation.
Women’s Safety and Health Issues at Work 2012. Web. 07 Sep. 2012.