Underestimated. Underpaid. Undervalued.
Jessaline is frustrated at work. As a hardworking, middle-class, single mother, she worked her way up the professional ladder and created a comfortable life for her seven-year-old daughter, Mona, and herself. Yet despite years of hard work and professional achievements, she has not been promoted to a higher position or sufficiently rewarded monetarily. There is no question that Jessaline deserves more than the verbal accolades and “flattering” perks her boss “generously” gives her. After all, her work is very high quality, and her boss consistently verbally acknowledges her valued contributions—just without considering the appropriate compensation she has repeatedly requested. A source of further aggravation is that Jessaline has too many times witnessed her boss giving less qualified and accomplished male colleagues promotions. It doesn’t help that she puts up with sexist comments from her male co-workers, who include her boss. It’s when her boss’ new male assistant asks her: “What did you have to do to get that job?” that she decides enough is enough. She does not deserve such treatment.
“[World leadership] must ensure the full implementation of the human rights of women and of the girl child as an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
The workplace isn’t the only place where Jessaline works hard without being appreciated. Her ex-husband took personal issue with her role as the breadwinner, and in many respects, the head of household and decision maker. She was the one who juggled being both a provider and nurturer in their home, while he jumped from one job to another, with long stretches of unemployment, and without contributing to the upkeep of their home and responsibilities of raising their daughter. Jessaline continues to struggle with her ex-husband to provide support monetarily, and even to simply show up and participate in the daily and consistent support and care of Mona.
“Women continue to be paid less than men, are often employed in the informal sector, have temporary and insecure jobs, and command less authority.”