For a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world, gender equality is a necessary foundation as a fundamental human right for which the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030.
Goal 5 targets include, among others, the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere, ensuring the full and effective participation of women, and gender equality. opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life. If gender diversity is encouraged, organizations can perform better. In this context, Posts around the world are also not left behind in working proactively towards women’s empowerment and gender equality through its various commitments.
Historically, the postal sector has been a male-dominated industry which poses several challenges for women in the workplace. Although there are no precise figures on the distribution of women and men working in the global postal sector, the industry has come a long way over the years to achieve better gender equality and the situation differs from country to country. In today’s digital society, which deserves a person based on their skills, experience and talent, female employees see more and more career opportunities in the postal sector.
As an illustration, according to the United States Postal Service (USPS), women have been carrying mail in the United States since the mid-1800s. postal workforce. The UK’s Royal Mail also has a long history of female postal workers. In fact, the postal service in the UK is considered a pioneer in female employment in the country, with a large number of women employed since 1870.
Posts in other parts of the world are also working hard to improve gender equality. Singapore Post, for example, opened the post office to women in 1974; today it emphasizes gender diversity and four of the nine directors on its board are women. The Emirates Post Group (EPG), which provides female employees with new opportunities, training and responsibilities, prides itself as one of the largest employers of women in the UAE with over 35%. In Lithuania, the postal operator has a similar number of women and men in management positions and its code of ethics emphasizes the importance of equal pay and equal opportunities. The commitment of the New Zealand Post (NZ Post) is evident in the number of initiatives it has underway to address gender equality. Overall, the NZ Post has a workforce made up of more women than men. Above all, the Universal Postal Union itself makes every effort to ensure equality between women and men within its staff and reports annually on gender issues to the Board of Directors.
Currently, 46% of UPU permanent employees are women.
To ensure that the benefits of development accrue to women as well as men, the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India in 2004 adopted gender responsive budgeting as a powerful tool for gender mainstreaming. gender dimension. reconstituted as a Gender and Child Budget Unit in 2018. It has made a provision of Rs 1 crore in the 2020-21 forward budget for gender issues with a plan for opening nurseries, classrooms of tiffin and toilet etc. in post offices and to start the awareness campaign on the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer and other cancers and the health status of women over 35 years of age. Also, the aid grant is eligible for Central Postal Ladies Organization and its subordinate organizations in 23 postal circles @ Rs 60,000 for running a nursery with one-time financial aid @ Rs 20,000 at the end of every three years and a recurring subsidy of Rs 1,500 per child per month subject to a maximum subsidy of Rs 38,000 per crèche. Additionally, a one-time grant of Rs 5,000 is eligible for opening sewing centers with Rs 750 per month as the salary for the part-time sewing instructor. In order to prevent sexual harassment of female employees in the workplace, a committee under the chairmanship of a senior administrative officer and three other members has been set up within the Directorate of Posts. As a means of mainstreaming women’s concerns, India Post is doing a lot nationally and internationally. Out of a total of 170,942 employees in the department (excluding Gramin Dak Sewaks), India Post has 28,929 (17%) female employees.
To make the post offices more women-friendly, India Post has 715 post offices run entirely by female employees, of which 263 are sub-post offices and 452 are branches.
Globally, the postal sector is committed to eliminating all forms of violence and harmful practices against all women and girls in public and private spheres, to undertaking reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, to enhance the use of information and communication technologies and to adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.
(The author is the General Secretary of the All India Organization, National Federation of Postal Employees (P-III), Central Headquarters, New Delhi. He is Postmaster Sahidnagar Mukhya Dak Ghar; e-mail : [email protected])