Under what circumstances are laws effective in eliminating gender-based discrimination in the workplace

Although a great deal of efforts have already been made to eliminate gender-based discrimination in the workplace, it still exists. Gender discrimination not only prevents the professional growth of women but also prejudices human rights what is impermissible. This issue demands certain actions to be implemented by the government and certain laws to be issued in order to eliminate gender discrimination in the workplace.

My goal in this essay is to discuss the significance of the issue concerning gender discrimination in the workplace and to find out under what circumstances the laws are effective in eliminating gender discrimination with regard to two countries: China and Australia.

1.1 Background of the problem
The issue concerning gender discrimination is an actual one. Moreover, gender discrimination is connected with some facts from the history of human society. It is known from the Bible that a woman has been made from the rib of the man. The other evidence is that there is a tradition: a prospective husband pays dowry to the father in order to purchase his daughter who soon will be the wife. A lot of other evidences can be found in the literature where the men are represented as the strongest sex who has power over the women. (Smith, 2010, p.97)

1.2 Significance of the study
This essay discusses one of the most important issues in the human society ”“ gender discrimination in the workplace. That is why it requires serious relation of the government to implementation of some laws to eliminate gender-based discrimination in the workplace.

1.3 Definitions of key concepts
Gender discrimination or sexual discrimination is an impairment of rights and privileges of a person based on the gender. This practice can be related to both genders. It is known that some religious groups consider gender discrimination as a constituent of their dogma.

2. Discussion themes
In order to develop the theme of the essay, it is necessary to give a detailed description of the most important points with regard to gender discrimination in the workplace in China and in Australia and to find out the main causes of this illegal action.

2.1 Gender discrimination in in the workplace in China
Argument: In China, gender discrimination in the workplace still exists although a lot of work has been done by the government to prevent it.
Evidences: According to the historical data, in 1948, Chinese women worked in the light industry for very low wages. Some women even received no pay. They worked for long hours and in rather dangerous conditions. In 1949, when the Communist Party took control of the country a lot of programs were developed to give the Chinese women equal status with men. The employment opportunities of women increased during the Cultural revolution in 1960.
(Cooke, 2003, p.335)

The government allowed women to work in such areas as mining, construction and others. Previously, they were not allowed to work in these areas. Since 1951, women were given permanent works with appropriate benefits from the government. They had the salary which was determined by the state, medical care, education, housing and pension. In 1979, the new economic policies increased the amount of women in Chinese workforce up to 38%. (Cooke, 2011, p.307)

The official status of women in the workplace is that they enjoy equal rights with men which include political and economic, social and cultural rights.
The government of China guarantees women the following benefits: equal wages for equal work, medical care, special protection programs during pregnancy, childbirth and even menstruation. It is prohibited to dismiss women owing to marriage, pregnancy and period of baby nursing. Of course, there are some problems connected with gender discrimination: some organizations refuse to hire women.

The US Department of State reports that although the equal rights have been promised by the Constitution of China, there are still a great deal of cases connected with gender discrimination, sexual harassment, unfair dismissal of women, down-grading and obvious wage discrepancies in the workplace. The State Department also reports that the employers try to hire men rather that women in order to avoid the payments on child care and maternity leave. (Cooke, 2003, p.323)

Due to economic reforms which were carried out in state-owned enterprises, a great number of female employees have been
dismissed. One more important evidence is that the pay cut of female employees was a usual practice at many enterprises which had financial problems. The major reasons of such an unfair gender discrimination in the workplace include the following ones: women are bad leaders, male employees will not agree to report to a woman-boss, woman have no enough physical strength, woman depend on the family and children.(Cooke, 2003, p.319)

2.2 Gender discrimination in the workplace in Australia
Argument: In Australia, gender discrimination in the workplace exists despite a great number of different programs implemented by the government to eliminate it.
In Australia, there are a lot of evidences of gender discrimination in the workplace. The most common evidence is when a man is given higher rates of pay that women who do the same job. (Smith, 2010, p.142)
However, women in Australia struggled for equality in all the periods of history of the country. It is known that Australia was one of the first countries in the world which allowed women to vote and to take positions in the parliament in 1902. Nevertheless, the first female minister was appointed only in 1949. One more evidence of gender discrimination in Australia is that until 1966 women who worked in federal public service had to resign after marriage. The period of 1970-1980 represented great changes for women. They achieved their goals which included elimination of gender discrimination in the workplace, equal wages, and so on. In 1983, the UN Convention on the Eliminating of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was ratified by Australian government. (Rees, et al., 2008, p.2)
In 1984, Federal Sex Discrimination Act passed with the main aim ”“ to eliminate gender discrimination in Australia. (Lansbury & Wailes, 2011, p.118)
It is known that two recent laws which passed in Australia strengthened the protection of human rights: Fair Work Act (2009) and Disability Discrimination and Other Human Rights Legislation (2009). These laws will make it possible to improve the situation in the workplace and to eliminate gender discrimination.(Smith, 2010, p.201)

3. Conclusion
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that the laws are effective in eliminating of gender-based discrimination in the workplace only under the circumstances of the full subjection to the law. That is why it is very important to tighten control over the laws by the government of each country.







Cooke, F.L. (2011) Employment Relations in China in G. Bamper. et al. Allen & Unwin, Sydney. 5-th Edition.
Cooke, F.L. (2003) Equal Opportunity? The Role of Legislation and Public Policies in Women’s Employment in China. Women in Management Review. 16(7)
Cooke, F.L. (2003) Equal Opportunity? Women’s Managerial Careers in Governmental Organizations in China. International journal of Human Resource Management. 14(2), March
Lansbury, R. & Wailes, N. (2011) Employment Relations in Australia in Bamber at el. (eds) Sage London, 4-th Edition
Rees, N., Lindsay, K., Rice, S. (2008) Australian Anti- Discrimination Law. Federation Press. Sydney
Smith, B. (2010) Fair and Equal in the World of Work. Two Significant Federal Developments in Australian Discrimination Law. Australian Journal of Labor Law, 23

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