Paper Example on Discrimination Against Pregnant Women and the Legal Right to Lie

Published: 2021-08-17
1837 words
7 pages
16 min to read
University of Richmond
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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All over the world, women report more discrimination and poor treatment in most of their endeavors than their male counterparts. At the workplace, women are actively discriminated and a time treated as second-class citizens. In fact, mistreatment of pregnant women is worsening than it was many decades ago. Discrimination against women is a common practice and Germany is not exceptional. Pregnant women are profoundly mistreated depending on the setting and environment in which they find themselves in. To cement this point, Bonnie G, 2008, points out that the recent 2016 research indicates that women are still less privileged and their number is always so low in the workplace. This is a clear indication that male chauvinism is still at play in the society. Pregnant women experience nightmares in their pursuit of happiness, the ones in the public sector are scorned and given little attention or given odd jobs with the intention of compelling them to quit. Those in the private sector are silently undermined and sometimes dismissed without proper reason or given a chance to show cause why they shouldn't be dismissed. Legally, these kinds of practices are unlawful and should not be tolerated in a civilized nation (Smith, 2008).

Discrimination against pregnant women is so rampant that it requires an urgent remedy. Pregnant women are discriminated in workplaces, schools, offices, forums, and even along the highways as people are busy with their daily businesses (Clayton, 2010). In fact, some businesses do not tolerate expectant mothers to the extent that they can't sell to them as they view them as a bad omen, and that their companies may not do well if they sell to them. Notably, urgent leadership is needed to implement laws that protect women from mistreatment and treatment as second-class citizens (Hirsh, 2010). Unfortunately, the government of the day is always reluctant in ensuring that discrimination against women is eradicated. The government approach to mitigating this vice lacks urgency and bite and therefore, unlikely to end this menace anytime soon.

Pregnancy discrimination in Germany cut across all the industries and income brackets. Pregnant women with low pay are highly discriminated; unfortunately, their fellow women discriminate against them too. In fact, it's this hatred among women that have contributed significantly to total discrimination of pregnant mothers. Women with better pay are not excluded, they are also discriminated against on their return to work. At some points, they are fired unfairly without following the due process (Rubin, 2008). For instance, a 65 years old woman became a laughing stock for being pregnant in Germany. Politicians and medical experts branded her irresponsible and inadvisable. This is a clear indication that they already discriminated against her. Branding her inadvisable and irresponsible is against the spirit of true justice. The politicians and medical experts decided to prosecute her in the court of public opinion without a fair trial. They became the accuser and the judge at the same time, even the bible prohibits judging others.

Adolf Hitler also had his ways of handling women. In as much as he didn't single out pregnant women, he believed that women belonged to the kitchen. This is exceptionally discriminatory as no school of thought puts women as the only custodians of the kitchen. Civility demands that men can also help women in the kitchen when need be. The personal views of the Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, significantly shaped the roles and attitudes of the society towards women (Stephenson, 2001). This dates back to his reign before Germany got independence. Hitler believed in traditionalist and conservative conceptions of gender. The Nazi leader felt that women's major role was domestic; they were competent in attending to home issues, their husbands, and to bear and raise children (Stephenson, 2001). This belief considerably contributed to the discrimination of women. This view could be observed and given credence in critical decision-making meetings where the opinion of women did not count, or they were not consulted or allowed to speak. This situation was worse for pregnant women; their presence was not recognized in such meetings. They were being discriminated against.

Women being kind-hearted, gentler and more emotional, could not survive the turmoil and pressure at workplaces, businesses or politics. Pregnant women were, therefore, only allowed to nurture their kids and not take part in the primary functions of the community. It's imperative to point out that Adolf Hitler set the ground for discriminating women and his successors implemented it to the fullest. At workplaces, pregnant women are always faced with the constant question of how they will balance work and giving birth. Some employers do not prefer women simply because they are pregnant. They view them as a burden to the company since their performance is assumed to diminish when they are expectant (Richard J, 2006).

Proportionally, Germany has a low number of women in business leadership roles; this is lower than even Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Turkey. Pregnant women in East Germany are not largely discriminated; they are encouraged to participate in the workforce unlike women in West Germany whose primary role is to be at home. Social criticism is directed towards pregnant women in the society as a whole. The criticism became so intense that it compelled the governing coalition in the German government to impose a 30% female quota strictly for supervisory board positions in 2014. This imposition was to be implemented as from 2016. This law was to protect not only pregnant women but the female gender as a whole. The government found out that mistreatment of women was becoming the order of the day and, therefore, ending it or at least regulating it to the betterment of the society (Lower, 2013).

The law does not give room for discriminating pregnant women at whatever cost. Equality Act 2010, stipulates that treating a woman unfavorably because she is pregnant or because she wants to take her maternal leave is sex discrimination and its punishable by law. This Act makes it clear that human beings are equal and should be treated as such. Elevating men and discriminating women are not only unlawful but also ungodly. All the workers, freelancers, self-employed, agency workers and casual workers are protected by sex discrimination law immediately they are employed (Williamson, 2013).

Technically, no woman should be mishandled on the grounds of pregnancy. Research has shown that pregnant women do get fired simply because they are pregnant. Employers do excuse themselves that pregnant women are unable to handle existing, new or upcoming projects because of their condition. This fallacy was debunked by the legislation laws on human rights, specifically, the bill of rights. Legislation updates uphold how selections and promotions are done at workplaces. The standard operating procedure requires that promotions and hiring are done on merit. Meritocracy should be the determining factor, and this is cemented by the fact that selection and promotions are determined by an individual's ability to execute his/her mandate competently and ensure due diligence (Donald P, 2012). Observing merit as a method of selection facilitates equality and non-discriminatory practices.

Economic discrimination is also a challenge pregnant women face in the German society. Expectant mothers are sometimes ignored, or shop attendants fail to attend to them because they view them as being disrespectful for going to their shops while pregnant. As inhuman as they are, they also sabotage the economic development. The economy is built on upholding togetherness as a nation. Legislations are therefore put in place to salvage the economy by providing a platform that does not encourage any for discrimination to expectant mothers. These legislations are aimed at removing occurrences of discrimination not only on pregnant women but also the entire human race (Crosby, 2010).

In 2015, Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) and Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published their findings on pregnancy discrimination in Germany. It was established that pregnant women are highly disregarded in offices and institutions of learning. The attitude developed by the male counterparts and females who are not pregnant is extremely disgusting. Pregnant women were hounded out of office or forced to leave their jobs HM (Government and EHRC, 2016). Their dismissals are based on claims that they cannot perform as required. Bacz, 2007, terms this as a witch hunt that has no place in the contemporary society. The research also established that some employers find lame excuses like pregnant women are too weak to perform or too lazy hence cannot deliver on their tasks. Not backed by any research or hypothesis, employers disregard expectant women on the claims mentioned above. It was also found out that discriminating pregnant women is stereotyped. There was a strong belief that any pregnant woman would not work properly since the pregnancy took much of their time and denied them concentration. Some employers conducted risk assessment immediately they were informed that some of their employees were pregnant. This was just a formality for unjustly firing pregnant women.

I would like to point out that Germany underwent a significant transformation that ensured discrimination of pregnant women was regulated to a greater extent. Today, in Germany, employers can dismiss pregnant women, but in seldom circumstances and they require the approval of the government authorities. This is envisaged in the constitution that runs The Women Equality and Select Committee (WEC). WEC ensures that the laws are followed by the letter and spirit to end discrimination. The committee champions the rights of pregnant women in all spheres. Those in employment are protected, those in their homesteads are also protected from male chauvinism. The German system is today structured in a way that it doesn't tolerate mistreatment of pregnant women; instead, it provides for a formal procedure of removing a pregnant woman from office without any discrimination (Peter E, 1991).

The German government has put in place a system that makes pregnant women enjoy special kind of protection against any dismissal, terminations with or without causality, or operational reasons. The law does not allow the employers to dismiss pregnant women during and after pregnancy. Pregnant women can only be fired or sent on compulsory leave when the competent public authorities grant their consent. This is for due diligence to take place before mishandling a woman because she is pregnant or helpless. This protection to women continues until they gave birth and stayed for four months with their kids. It's at this point that the employer may dismiss a non-performing woman because it's strictly not based on her pregnancy. The competent authority grants consent for dismissal in exceptional cases, for instance, if the company closes down or where there is gross misconduct.

It's important to note that any termination without the consent of the competent authority is invalid and can be challenged in a labor court and the employer charged heavily. In cases where a pregnant woman is terminated on the grounds of pregnancy, and the labor courts find it invalid, the employer is obliged to reinstate the pregnant woman unconditionally, and pay her for damages (Janta, 2008). Labor courts are just courts that adjudicate matters employment amongst employees and employers. Both are not allowed to violate the rights of the other. Employers are expected to create a secu...

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