Do Women Deserve Less Money than Men?

Do Women Deserve Less Money than Men?

I never knew that organizations devise their pay scales according to need based formula. While working in one of the prestigious academic sectors of Pakistan in Islamabad, I came across an argument with my colleague.


My colleague claimed that my home would not affected at all even if I stop earning. I asked her that though I am not a bread earner for my family but I work to live a comfortable and better life with luxuries.


Despite that time has changed and many women are now working, some to support their families and others to make their lifestyles better, the common perception prevails that women work for fun and enjoyment.


The same mentality exists in workplaces. Pay discrimination on the basis of gender is the brutal truth that faces every woman when she steps out to work. In Pakistan, women are usually paid less than heir male counterparts. Their efforts are not taken seriously though they are equally hard working as men. I can confidently quote my example and say that I work more than my male colleagues and spend less time in gossiping, messing etc.


The performance indicator tools used by many organizations are either too vague or obsolete that their results can’t be trusted. No one can judge the work and pressure of the other worker unless he or she is in the same shoes. When talk about my work, I have done my work loyally and I when I delegate that particular work to my assistant, I know how much hard work he/she has put in it


The performance indicator tools need to be changed in order to evaluate the right pay and wages. It specially requires training and development of HR department who should see women and men with the same sight.



Rabia Ahmed Sikandar

A contributor for The News/Geo blogs

  • M.Saeed

    It is a well demonstrated fact that, women get paid much
    more than their male counter-parts. Just consider their productivity over an entire
    working life span.

    While working in an African country, I was amazed to know
    that, women get 2 months pre-delivery maternity leave with full pay. Then, they
    get 5 weeks post maternity leave for normal delivery and generous enhancements
    for special procedures endured. After that, they join work with feeding allowances
    in salary, half day work at full pay for 6 months and continued feeding
    allowances for nursing mothers, for next 2 years. If the worker gets pregnant
    again, the whole procedure gets a re-starts. If there is any left-over in benefits
    from the previous delivery, they continue simultaneously with the fresh.

    There is no bar on number of children born. And, these privileges
    are in addition to all benefits that they enjoy normally with their male colleagues.

    From above example it can be seen that, total emoluments received
    over an entire working life, if calculated on hourly basis, women get paid much more than their male counter-part.

  • Junior Hydari

    You are absolutely right in your stance that women are given lower salaries compared to males majority of organizations in Pakistan. However, you must also have the courage to accept that besides a woman who has to work to make both ends meet, most females working today are doing so for fun and enjoyment. Being an academic myself, I have over the years, teaching adolescents, found majority of the behavioral/academic issues arising in my students whose both parents work. So how can progress and prosperity of a nation come from a working woman whose own progeny goes out of her hand because she has no/less time for her own kids.

    • Shruti

      I am an Indian and not a Pakistani, so I might not understand Pakistan’s culture as much. But as a free thinking woman, I believe that the responsibility of the children and the household is a man’s as much as a woman’s. And the responsibility to earn a household income is also a collective responsibility. I see no shame in a man volunteering to stay home or taking care of the children if he feels he likes it more or can do a better job than the woman.

      Also to those who say that women leave early because they need to take care of their households or are given more leaves during maternity, please realize women bear children. Maternity is a very very tiring period of time and a man who cannot appreciate that weather in business or governance/administration and expects women to be around in the office, as much during maternity is being horribly unfair. The society needs mothers to have healthy maternity. Everyone in jobs or the corporate sector needs that their families, wives and daughters be given that right to bear children without penalizing their careers.

      Also in the current environment a typical division of labour is still one in which a woman takes care of the household and the man earns. However even while some women are challenging that equation and going out to fulfill their ambitious its not going hand in hand with men taking more responsibility of the household. So most women in their attempt to balance both are actually overworking themselves. Worse people in the corporate, instead of understanding that and infact encouraging men to contribute more to the household work, speak ill about women. This happens in India too. To me it makes men come across as either ignorant or insecure.

  • Irfan Q

    no wonder women get paid less….spelling mistakes haha!!

  • azeem abbas

    Dear Rabia! First i would like to say that women are having equal rights as of men. Their should be no discrimination. Secondly, its very strange and shocking for me that women are payed less then men? I heard this for the first time. Because where i was working before and where i am working now i never saw such things, i never heard such things, moreover i never saw something like this in other organizations also? I think it will be better u search for other nice job instead of working in a company where there is discrimination’s.

  • Shruti

    if the boss (assuming he is a man) does not yell at the female, and yells at all males, is it a female’s fault???

    All those men who complain about other men’s partiality towards women, themselves go on to become the very same bosses. From what I understand, it makes men look more spineless and not the other way round!!

    To all those men who think women should not be allowed to leave office early, please ask yourselves:

    1) Do you cook, do the dishes, clean the house, make the bed and do the laundry?

    2) Can you ensure women don’t get eve teased or are insecure while travelling back home in the dark, late in the night??

    It’s easy to be myopic and dismiss everything as propaganda / dramatic-ism.

  • Mohtashim

    In developing countries like ours, they deserve more money if they are working to support a family. They deserve less if they are making a man unemployed and doing it just to buy luxuries. They should do social work if they want a ‘time pass’.

  • sadia

    the content which you have written rabia that’s good, but sorry i disagree with it because there’s no dubious in saying that now most of the companies donot create discriminations among males and females, but still thats also the dark reality that mostly females get more favours then their male counterparts, I don’t want to discuss here why but yes thats true and i am against it. but taking every female under single shade that they all work for fun and enjoyment that’s totally wide of the mark.

  • Talha Bin Shakir

    I just have an augment why women should work unless it is compulsion for her to fulfill her basic needs and I mean basic. When she said she is not bread to earn for the family so the question raised in my mind is that it means she occupied place of a bread earner which is unjust at first place and if you still have complaint that you were not paid up to the level of men (who is bread earner ) don’t you think there is a answer of your question in this. You got this opportunity because your employer knows well that you are not needed and that’s why they prefer to hire you so they will easily get you at low salary. You have chosen an ethical subject for this column and If you talk about ethics so your demands are completely unfair and not only unfair it’s a criminal act in my sight. ” I work to live a comfortable and better life with luxuries”, A society where people are dying because of hunger, thousand of men and women looking for a little opportunity so that they can bring food for their family. Women like you occupied these opportunities and force them to commit crime. just think other way around if the society do justice with people will you not have comfortable life without more money, peace in society is not the most desirable luxury?? I would request to all these women who are fill the places of opportunities just for fun or for greediness to have luxury life please immediately free all those places to perform your very first duty to your people to tour own sisters, mothers and daughters. I do not disagree with your claim but I am more focus on the cause. Believe me you will find significant change, justice and peace in your society. I don’t mind neither you get paid more than man nor you have luxuries life if we all are doing justice with our people and everyone in society at least enjoying basic means of life just to survive.
    Please think about this as well………………….

  • Shruti

    Don’t look at a few gang-rapes and think Indian men are like that across! Loads of very respectable men everywhere. Many of these men were avid participants in this protests!

    Also, Patriarchy is not a personality trait. Its an outcome of Conservatism which treats women as secondary!! PERIOD.The way I see it, the patriarchs are those who have not studied with women, had female friends growing up, or female colleagues in the office. When men are not exposed to women in workplace and classes and athletics, that’s when they cannot consider them as equals. That won’t happen unless women are more visible. We started on that road long back and we are continuously progressing. Parents now are becoming ambitious about their daughter’s ambitions and a good proportion of the creme in the best of schools of engineering MBA medicine economics arts etc. are very very intelligent ambitious women.

    Gang Rapes happen because even if .01% people are mentally sick and perverted, that’s a huge population in India. The law has to become stronger and the judiciary, but isn’t that a universal problem. I wont ask you if that is a problem in Pakistan or not, because I don’t want to compare without knowing facts about Pakistan, but let me just put it this way. Irrespective of how we compare with other countries, we see ourselves as week in judiciary and policing. And because we recognize it we are working towards strengthening it. Governments are becoming more accountable, less corrupt by each election. Incrementally of course.

    And this is in no way to compare India against Pakistan. I don’t know about Pakistan. I would be only very happy if women in Pakistan have all the freedom that they should.

    Change won’t happen magically. We are reflecting and identifying our social-economic-political lacunae and step by step reforming ourselves. I was proud to begin with but I am all the more proud today of my country. By the time I have my children, (and I hope I have daughters) I will be proud raising them up and nurturing their ambitions in the India that its becoming!

  • Shruti

    Drama queen is cool right!! What wrong with having some color in your life!! :D Couple of points and please don’t take them personally. That’s not my intent. My intent is to give you some perspective and in return get a perspective. Politely, of-course.

    1) Nobody is mud-slinging. I understand if a women likes to do house-hold work over office!! But she should have the freedom to CHOOSE. And be educated enough that when the time comes to choose, she is not handicapped to not be able to choose her career.

    2) I have never understood the word feminism. If you mean freedom-ism, yes that I am. I value freedom a lot.

    3) Subjects vs. Objects: Thats the problem with a lot of men in the subcontinent Did anyone teach you how to be a subject and not an object?? Then why are men trying to teach women that? If we mess up, we will LEARN!!!

    Couple of things.
    – No women is an object. Men classify her as an object. No women would think she’s an object. Not even an object :P .
    – Women who are ambitious and outgoing are not objects. They are free women. There is a huge difference.

    4) I have been to US. Women in US have many very excellent points. Even men here too. They are very polite and very accepting. Indians Pakistanis everyone here is given a warm reception (mostly). And their culture is based on very high level of freedom and dignity. (There are many things India can learn from US I think) . Also men here don’t see a women dressed for partying and go like ‘Oh, look object’. :D That’s just the movies. And maybe a few stupid boys. But for a few stupid boys why should I or any girl give up my freedom?? That means I am looking at myself from their gaze. Why? Can’t I ignore stupid people? There are loads of stupid people everywhere in all parts of the world. And they won’t stop just because they see me or another girl all covered. They are stupid!!

    Bottomline really is: Women have to build self-esteem. And that wont happen by preventing men from looking at her at the cost of her freedom. Self esteem comes from knowledge, curiosity, scientific or arty pursuits or just anything one feels one can contribute towards the society with. Even as a housewife. Thats damn cool too. But that CHOICE of what one can contribute best with to the society, has to be in the hands of every individual. Including women.

    Over and out
    -Drama queen. :P

  • nomz

    i disagree to the article by all means.. its non factual, and unreal