The majority of teachers in Kerala will be women in a few years. But wait before you rejoice, for it is more a cause for concern than something to be proud of, according to Kerala State Women’s Commission Chairperson M.C. Josephine.

“More women in the teaching profession than men might look like a reflection of the improved educational status of Malayali women. The reality is that women are being forced to take up and are limited to such jobs,” Ms. Josephine remarked in an interaction with reporters on the sidelines of the Commission’s mega adalat in Kozhikode on Wednesday.

“And these women are susceptible to workplace harassment at different levels. Women’s presence is negligible in jobs that demand a definite set of skills,” she pointed out.

“Women in Kerala are mostly well educated. But education does not necessarily mean knowledge, the lack of which is spelling doom for women here,” she said. “Most women in the State are not concerned about what is happening around them. Their education, job, marriage, children and a comfortable lifestyle are all they care about, and hence are ignorant of even laws for their own protection,” she said.

Ms. Josephine said this in the wake of many cases of workplace harassment filed before the Commission by teachers.

“Most of them are ignorant of the complaint redressal cell that is mandatory in every institution that has more than 10 women employees,” she said. Women teachers face large-scale exploitation at schools. They are pressurised for results and are often verbally and emotionally abused.

“Teachers are so weak and ignorant that they have to approach the Women’s Commission to even get their experience certificate from managements,” said Commission member M.S. Thara who alleged that the remuneration paid to teachers was much lesser than what was entered in school accounts.

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