KATHMANDU, Nov 3: The Supreme Court today directed government authorities to ensure equal remuneration for male and female workers in various enterprises and monitor the situation properly.
A division bench of Justices Deepak Raj Joshee and Purusottam Bhandari issued the order in response to a writ petition lodged by a team of lawyers including Jury Nepal Chairman Raju Prasad Chapagain. The lawyers said rampant discrimination persisted in various sectors and sought the intervention of the apex court.
The bench also directed the government authorities-the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Labor and Employment, the Department of Labor and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs-to monitor the remuneration of male and female laborers at various enterprises.
The government had in a Nepal Gazette notice determined Rs 6,205 as the monthly remuneration for laborers last year, with a dearness allowance of Rs 3,495. It had likewise determined Rs 393 as the daily wage for laborers. But women working in the informal sector, such as domestic help, are discriminated against in this also.
The petition has called on the court to ensure women's right to equality, right to work and right against exploitation while arguing that gender and caste-based discrimination has been growing due to the failure to do away with discriminatory legal provisions.
Stating that there is rampant discrimination between male and female laborers in the remote areas, the petitioners said the enforcement agencies have not been able to address such issues. The petitioners have also sought the opening of more labor offices and the setting up of the necessary mechanisms for addressing concerns about remuneration.
Stating further that, 90 percent of women laborers are in the informal sector according to the second national women's convention held in 2013, the petitioners sought an apex court order to ensure the rights of all such laborers.
Underling that there is no scientific mechanism in place to determine remuneration for labor, the petitioners also sought a court order to annually review the remuneration of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers.