“Deepika Padukone has reportedly charged a hefty paycheck of Rs 13 crore for Padmavati,” was the top trending story on the weekend. No, not kidding! And it’s not even wrong. Why? Because in the industry where the Khans of Bollywood charge Rs 50 crore per film, the ladies are still struggling to cross Rs 10 crore. Reportedly, Deepika Padukone has been offered Rs 12 crore for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati, while the other two actors — Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, are getting Rs 11 crore and Rs 10 crore respectively. Three years ago, she was paid Rs 1 crore for Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela, this is indeed a huge leap for the actress. Finally, we can see the equality at the workplace. But why are we even discussing her salary, when ‘it is rude to ask anybody’s wage!’
Do you know according to World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest study on gender equality, it would take around 217 years for women to achieve workplace equality in India. As per the study, if a man gets Rs 100 for a work, a woman gets Rs 62 for the same work. So, on one hand, we talk about gender equality, on the other ladies in the house are still struggling for their salary.
From films, sports to information technology, law and healthcare, you will find that women in every industry are struggling for their share of equal wage. But then there are people who believe that “wage gap is a myth“. No, not all. According to the Monster Salary Index by the Monster.com (online recruitment company), in India, gender pay gap stands as high as 27 percent, where men earn a median gross hourly salary of Rs 288.68, while women earn Rs 207.85 per hour. So yeah, even if two people are in the same organisation working at the same position, men get higher salary than women.
According to Monster India’s managing director Sanjay Modi, the main reason behind gender pay gap is that the male employees are always given preference over their female counterparts.
Still, don’t believe us? We have a bonus explanation for you. This Quora thread perfectly explains why equality at a workplace is very important. So, this man’s wife-to-be earns Rs 4.5 lakh per annum, while he himself earns Rs 20 lakh per annum. She wants to continue her job and for her husband-to-be to help her with household chores. Do you find any issue? No? How can you not? How can a husband who is also a ‘superior’ breadwinner can share household chores if his wife doesn’t earn even half of his salary? After all, he already fulfils his share and also he made it very clear that his wife-to-be’s low-salary job is unnecessary. Though the responses this man got is really clap-worthy, gender roles is another issue here.
It’s not man vs woman, it’s about giving working women the money they deserve.
Deepika getting a crore or two more than her co-stars has shocked us out of our wits and every presser on Padmavati has been centred around the topic of her paycheck. As if, we are finding it difficult to digest this fact. It’s not about taking home more money than her male counterparts. It is about getting the money working women and female professionals deserve.
Often women in showbiz are told that they can’t pull audiences and that their films are just social cause showpieces made as token gestures much like CSR projects of corporate companies. The likes of Kangana and Vidya have time and again proven that women can shoulder films and deliver hits without resorting to making brainless cinema meant to cater to the lowest common denominator.
Listen to what Reese Witherspoon had to say about this:
So can we stop marvelling at the fact that a woman has been paid more than her male counterparts and stop making her feel sorry about it? She got the money she deserved.
If we at all want to contribute to the pay parity struggle, we need to ask the right questions to employers. Why must women wait for another two centuries to be paid as much as men?
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