59 per cent women skip work because of health

Working women continue to take full responsibility of home management with little or no help coming from family members in running household errands. This according to a survey conducted by the PHD Research Bureau of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which looked at the “Work-life balance and health concerns of women: A survey of Delhi”.

The recently-released survey study is an endeavour to explore and strike a balance between work, life and health status of women in Delhi. It explores the efforts made by the employer to provide a healthy work environment for their female employees.

The results of the analysis have been divided into three basic categories: Work Life Balance, Health Concerns, and Workplace Health Provisions.

The findings elucidate that a majority of women, 59 per cent, reported missing work (absenteeism) due to health issues. As many as 47 per cent of women have reported cold, cough and fever as the main health reason for missing work.

There is also high percentage of aches and pains (23 per cent women reported to suffer from it), especially back pain and headache.

An analysis of the percentage of income spent on own health showed that 57 per cent of women spent less than 10 per cent of their income on health, while only 3 per cent spent more than 40 per cent.

It was found that 64 per cent women trusted private healthcare facilities more than government or local clinics.

It was revealed from the analysis that 70 per cent of the women had a provision of paid sick leaves at their respective work places. About 39 per cent reported 3-6 months maternity benefits being given to them.

However, some 26 per cent fell in the category where no benefits were being provided due to non-applicability of the benefit to their designation (trainee, temporary, ad-hoc etc).

The infrastructural provision showed that 85 per cent of women’s workplace had separate toilets for them. However, only 31 per cent of working women reported having a dispensary with a lady doctor in their workplace.

Shuttling between the various tasks at hand, women often overlook their health and continue to unconditionally manage both home and work simultaneously.

“It is encouraging to know that clean and separate toilets for women have been provided by mostly all organisations. Further, the provision of sick leaves, maternity benefits, dispensaries at workplace, and medical insurance are some benefits that are being given to women at their workplace,” said Alok B. Shriram, president, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He added that women play multiple roles in their life span, from being home-makers to making big entrepreneurs.

“Today almost all areas have been carefully nurtured and served by women in India,” he said.

The survey also found that a majority of women (61 per cent) work for 8-10 hours a day and travel as long as 30 km or for more than an hour to reach their workplace.

In spite of the long hours spent at work and the long travel distance, a positive trend in work satisfaction was seen.

About 68 per cent of women participants stated that they were either completely satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their work, said the survey study.

Around 2,000 working and non-working women were surveyed by the research Bureau of the PHD Chamber during January-February 2015 through a structured questionnaire for the survey.

Interestingly, a majority of women (80 per cent) reported that they devote 2-4 hours in household work and 53 per cent said that they have domestic help to do household work.

“The empowerment and improvement in the status of women must not only be economically and socially but also in terms of good health and hygiene at workplace,” noted Mr. Shriram.

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