Equity Struggles, Housework, and Globalization
Women have gone through many struggles in the process of seeking equity in the labor market (Georgeac & Rattan, 2019). These struggles have been spearheaded by the union maid, which is a song about women who were active in workers’ movements without being involved in paid work themselves. Women have had had difficult times in planning and making decisions on whether to engage in paid employment or not, but the developments of the worker’s unions have given them recognition in the labor market as equal employees (Kohout & Singh, 2018). Housework for women has for long been not paid because women were seen as house caretakers, which, according to many cultures, do not attract any form of compensation. Labor feminists experienced difficult times in fighting multiple fronts that govern the fate of housework done by women. Georgeac & Rattan (2019) asserts that these feminists tried to convince some of the autonomous (women-only) feminists that working with or even in unions might advance women’s active or passive resistance of union brothers who thought women were a distraction from unions’ cores business of hammering out good contracts. Globalization has since then being a pillar to equal labor rights for women and men of the profession (Georgeac, & Rattan, 2019). This essay aims at addressing the relationship between paid and unpaid work, social reproduction, challenges that equity-seeking women face in the paid work and unions, the relations between women and other equity groups as well as the issue of globalization.
The Relationship Between Paid and Unpaid Work
In many aspects, when individuals perform duties assigned to them, and they are compensated for their time and efforts, the scenario is said to be paid work. Simply meaning that paid work is the compensation of one’s undertakings and time while on the other hand when people perform tasks assigned to them or willingly and they are not compensated, they are said to have done unpaid work. Compensation for work done is majorly done in many cases inform of monetary terms unless otherwise agreed upon between the worker and the employer (Leopold, 2019). Paid work will fall under many categories as well as unpaid work. Since compensation is done for any task done is paid work, its worth of importance to explore the different types of work that is not paid. Mostly paid work has been associated with male gender and unpaid work with the female gender. Unpaid informal caregiving is a task that has been left for women; caregivers are often family members, relatives or volunteer friends who decide to look after the children the elderly or the sick and people with disabilities (Georgeac, & Rattan, 2019). A large proportion of women engage in caregiving where they are not paid; there are times when they need to engage in paid work to provide for their families. This will imply that they will get a paid caregiver whose time and efforts will be paid while the woman who was initially giving care goes for paid employment in the formal sector and remits part of her pay to the housemaid.
According to Leopold (2019), there are volunteer employees who do some work in a different setting and do not expect to be compensated. For example, women’s volunteer work that predominates in institutions and is associated with feminized work that includes schools, hospitals, and other services related to care. In these cases, few or sometimes, no financial benefits are dedicated to these volunteers whose services benefit a particular group of people (Leopold, 2019). In the current state of affairs, unpaid work is being extended to paid workplaces through the immigrations settlements, for instance, many immigrants are looking for access in professional careers like in Canada where they work for experience in the form of unpaid work(Georgeac & Rattan, 2019). Unpaid work goes beyond domestic work as traditionally believed, the gap between men’s work and women’s work has narrowed with more of housework still being done by the women. Although these women engage in paid formal employment, they remain disproportionately responsible in their housework that causes them a dual-earner family where they carry the double burden of paid and unpaid work. Subsistence activities, internships, and other family-related work have not being recognized as paid work despite women and children being primarily associated with it.
Social reproduction involves the provision of basic needs such as food, shelter, safety, and healthcare alongside the transmission of knowledge, social values and introduction to cultural practices is a task that has been associated with the women (Georgeac, & Rattan, 2019). As the male gender provides for the financial support to the household, the female gender is expected to be in the frontline in transmitting knowledge to the young generation. In the contemporary economy, Canada has contributed to the advancement of social reproduction that relates to women’s paid and unpaid work. According to Blofield and Franzoni (2018), the role of a woman is to shape the character of her children and ensure that they get their food at all times without fail. These are some of the cultural values that were granted recognition in the ancient world, although it’s a collective responsibility to both men and women.
Healthcare has been an issue of concern where women are expected to take of healthcare needs of their family members while their husbands engage in paid work to settle the bills related to that particular activity they do at household levels (Blofield, & Franzoni, 2018). Many governments have implemented policies that enable women to manage their complementing needs for employment and care responsibilities. These have been done through influential activists women committees that have struggled into unions across Canada. The unions have played a more significant part in bargaining and campaigning that focuses on the importance of reducing the conflicts between women’s paid employment and social reproduction with emphasis on unpaid care at home. Social reproduction will majorly impact the motherhood on women’s lives that depends on how race, gender, and the social class interact in transmitting knowledge to the next generation.
Challenges that Equity-Seeking Women Face at Paid Workplace and Unions
Equity-seeking women have had challenging times in convincing the employers and the unions about their focus on specific issues that need to be treated as equal in paid work and the unions (Blofield, & Franzoni, 2018). There have been many barriers to the leadership positions of women that discourage them from participating in creative strategies that would bring equity in paid work. Leadership in paid employment has profoundly been given to men; these provide the equity-seeking women with a challenge in bargaining for equal rights (Blofield, & Franzoni, 2018). Structural barriers are created to unions with the focus of limiting women and their decisions. These barriers exclude women from muscling innovations where they term them as leaders only in the household chores; women are prejudiced against taking up office responsibilities by these structural barriers. They cause the notion of sexual harassment when led by women.
Family barriers are other challenges that are were faced by these equity-seeking women, where most of their responsibilities are marginalized towards them (Blofield, & Franzoni, 2018). In Canada, women with families face hard times in committing time to unions. This is because there is hardly any enough time for them to engage in housework and at the same time involve in unions’ activities. The main conflicting challenge with such women is that the union keep them out of their family chores, which is against their livelihoods. Job segregation raises barriers to women’s participation in paid work (Georgeac & Rattan, 2019). In this respect, they engage in low paid work with unrecognized skills and with very little flexibility, meaning that the union often not encourage them to join the leadership positions. Union structures usually reflect the sex segregation in the labor market, thus creating barriers to the women advancement in their fight for equity in paid work.
Sexism and racism are other challenges that these women seeking equity in paid work and unions face. Blofield & Franzoni (2018), argues that the traits of dealing with competence take the male leadership to be of more value as compared to that of the female leaders. Racism considers female leadership to be geared by emotions that impede the effectiveness of a neutral leader (Leopold, 2019). For women to overcome these cultural stereotypes and barriers in their leadership, they must meet higher levels of skills training and knowledge and more importantly work harder with the local and broad support of international organizations. In Canada, women filling the affirmative action leadership are described to readdress inequalities; they experience a lot of resistance from their male counterparts. Their leadership abilities are hampered by their union with affirmative actions. These women encounter systematic exclusion from accessing relevant information that would guide them through their leadership process; they are prevented from formal and informal decision making (Blofield, & Franzoni, 2018). They face a lot of confrontational attacks on their legitimacy and credibility, where they experience isolation and marginalization.
The Relationship Between Women and Other Equity-Seeking Groups
Programs for other equity-seeking groups within the same region also act as a challenge to women seeking-equity at paid work and unions. Undoubtedly, there exists a tension between two or more groups that are fighting for different interest in the economy (Najafizadeh, & Lindsey, 2018). For example, if there are other groups other than women who are seeking equity in the paid works, there will be a conflict of interest in the employment sector and the unions. In instances where say, for example, people with disabilities are seeking equity in paid work, and in unions, the employees and the government would be at a crossroad in deciding which group to be granted the favor or get acquainted.
These other equity-seeking groups challenge the proportion of women representation in leadership in terms of their numbers. Women representation in the national union of public and general employees has been limited by the emergent of other equity-seeking groups (Grunow, 2019). Feminists groups in the labor market contribute a positive relationship between equity seeking women and other equity-seeking groups by establishing criticisms that strengthen the bargaining power for women in paid work. Other equity-seeking groups categorize women as of less tasking work, for example, they associate them with clerical work, restaurant attendants and caregiving duties that attract very little pay compared to positions that grant men high salary in the so-called male jobs (Georgeac, & Rattan, 2019). Sometimes there is limited information on the leadership of other equity-seeking groups that weakens the relationship between them and women.
In Canada, there is a reasonably recommendable level of equality ranging from political, cultural, social and economic interdependence which has enabled the government to take the aspects of growth beyond Canada and connecting employment across their borders (McGregor & Davies, 2018). Blofield & Franzoni (2018), affirms that Canadians are getting in touch with each other through technology and communication, which has benefited more life through infinite opportunities in economics and adapting to new cultures. Work in Canada has been interconnected overseas where Canadians are working for companies that have operations in various countries in the world; others are selling their products such Hollywood films they produce in Canada to customers all over the globe (McGregor & Davies, 2018). Canadians have discovered new technologies that have seen many business opportunities employ locals to other countries through the internet and communication in different languages which are internationally recognized. Globalization has also affected the Canadas economy, politics and cultures, which has been considered to yield stable democracy where Canada is ranked to be the third most self-governing nation in the democratic index (Leopold, 2019). In Canada, work has been globalized especially in times of national disasters for example when a country like Haiti experienced earthquake the Canadian government sends thousands of soldiers to help those affected, and that shows how Canadian politics played a role in globalization as other countries.
With the exemptions of the armed forces of Canada, all workers have the right to form a union of their choice, these unions may organize strikes where employees are providing essential services in the government such as law enforcement, and medical services are not allowed to join the strike (McGregor & Davies, 2018). There are specific laws that govern the strikes and conditions under which workers of the medical world don’t participate in strikes; the rules usually vary from province to the province where the highest percentage vigorously enforce union protection and investigate work safety. Several groups are underrepresented and often paid less than their counterparts in the same profession; for instance, people who are natives face discrimination in terms of promotions at different levels. Women and people with disability are capable of working, but under several environments, they are discriminated to employment, such as in the security forces (Leopold, 2019). Women are also less considered for a top management position where their male counterparts in similar jobs are paid better than them. Leopold (2019) argues that many working environments in Canada, single work may not support a family since the workers in some provinces have lower minimum wages and the people who are between the age of fifteen to sixteen years are not allowed to work without the concert of their parents.
In conclusion, equity struggle, housework, and globalization are issues that have affected the women’s work in various scenarios where women’s work is not recognized according to the expectations of the labor Acts. Struggles through unions leadership play an essential role in determining the affirmative actions that could develop and implement labor relations. Transformation of union leadership should be governed by policies and practices that strengthen the relationship between the needs of the women in the paid work. Politics and economic contexts of the union should be controlled through shaping equity and improving the representational possibilities for women. Increasing the levels of competition in the paid workplace will harmonize the un-unionized workers from creating barriers to women’s equality in paid work. Negotiations relating to representations in the union should be done within the union. Equity strategies should be proactively consistent to address the challenges of patriarchal and individualism values for all workers in the workplace and at household levels. The aim of such solidarities should be to diversify the roles of representation and leadership of women in unions as well as in labor-related boards. Countries wishing to develop women’s work recognition should be allowed to create a global awareness of the current states where discrimination and separation of tasks should be neutralized irrespective of gender. Social reproduction should be a collective responsibility of the women and men as well. Creating these mutual responsibilities enables the young generation to grow with modern professionalism that is characterized by a performance at the workplace rather than gender.