Asian outsourcing sector is diverse in vertical segment of the industry types and sectors. It ranges from Software to call centers to garment manufacturing. Most of these outsourcing outfits employ large number of women and most of the time women occupy the lowest positions of the outfit and have little power.
Most of the outsourcing units in South Asia, whether Information Technology Center in Bangalore. or a garment factory in Bangladesh, are male dominated. In high tech sector, the abuse of women are subtle and definitely declining becasue of awareness. In typical factories the abuse of women workers are rampant and increasing. In garment manufacturing companies in Bangladesh, a huge number of poor women are employed. They are sometimes abused verbally and physically by throwing papers and heavy bundle of clothes at them. In many case when these women complain, they are taken lightly by authorities.
In Indian IT companies, software testers are low paid women workers. The programmers are primarily male although the gender gap is reducing. The biggest problem lies in the fact that women do not occupy managerial positions,they face abuse from male dominated management staff.
United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)requires countries to provide all kinds of protection to women from workplace abuse and harassment.
However, the tradition among authorities in South Asia is still to take this complaints lightly.
This is rapidly changing in South Asia due to #Meetoo movement. In India #Meetoo movement is spearheaded by Bollywood women and media journalists. It is fast spreading into corporation, Universities, and Government. In Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal it has also spread into workplace through awareness and education. In Bangladesh most of the outsourcing outfits are in manufacturing sector. The working women are poor and uneducated. Awareness on #Meetoo movement is growing but at a slower pace.