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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 101-102

Mental health problems of women working in the unorganized sector

1 Department of Psychiatric Social Work, LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, Assam, India
2 Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Odisha, India

Date of Submission30-Aug-2021
Date of Decision10-Dec-2021
Date of Acceptance11-Dec-2021
Date of Web Publication24-Jan-2022

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Priyanka Saikia
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur - 784 001, Assam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_216_21

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How to cite this article:
Saikia P, Pathak A. Mental health problems of women working in the unorganized sector. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res 2022;15:101-2

How to cite this URL:
Saikia P, Pathak A. Mental health problems of women working in the unorganized sector. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 15];15:101-2. Available from: https://www.ijournalhs.org/text.asp?2022/15/1/101/336301

Dear Editor,

Mental health problems or mental illness is an ongoing serious health issue. People in their conversation have started speaking and accepting about it. Mental illness does not see any hierarchy prevails in society, and it is evident that a person once in a lifetime suffers from mild to severe forms of mental illness.[1] Therefore, private companies and public sector enterprises are devising ways to preserve their employees' mental well-being.[2] However, where approximately 90% of the Indian workforce is engaged in the unorganized sector, where women contribute 50% of the total workforce, they are still devoid of mental well-being.[3] They are being discriminated against on equal pay, work in hazardous environments, and are prone to sexual and physical exploitation. The misery does not end here, and their weak shoulder carries the family's ongoing burden, especially spouses who sometimes carry out domestic violence and the upbringing of the children. Thus, multiple roles put a heavy strain on the body and arrest mental health. Women suffer from mild-to-severe forms of mental illness, which often go unnoticed. For example, depressive disorders account for close to 41.9% of the disability from neuropsychiatric disorders among women. Furthermore, a majority of elderly women suffered from depression, dementia, and other organic brain disorders in their lifetime.[4] According to National Mental Health Survey, Women are more vulnerable to common mental health disorders like neurotic and stress-related disorders, depression, bipolar affective disorder.[5] Although there are a lot of legal provisions, implementations of those seem whimsical.

Organizations working to uplift socioeconomic status and preservation of their well-being are commendable but meager. The women working in the unorganized sector need to address their social security issues regarding wages, leave, pension, working conditions, child care, housing, safety and occupational hazards, and health and maternity benefits. It is also required that the departments working directly or indirectly related to Women's Welfare should come together to empower women.[6] There should be one leader for the women working in the unorganized sector. Their leader should be included in the decision-making processes relating to their welfare and must be involved in policy-making. Legislations that guarantee equal job opportunities, equal pay and wages should be strictly implemented and enacted. The government should also come forward to guarantee full employment with some skill training programs and job-oriented training to generate local jobs. The working time of the women should also be regulated by the concerned government of the particular state. The women should also be encouraged to form local groups or join organizations to fight against exploitation and harassment. There should be proper regulation of unorganized sector industries, ensuring job security, healthy work environment and at least minimum wages, maternity, and child care benefits. The awareness of the minimum wage act among women is minimum, and voluntary organizations have a big responsibility to spread it among daily women wage laborers. These organizations could take a variety of forms trade unions, Mahila Mandals, Self Help Group and cooperatives, which will also motivate them to save money to be economically empowered and make their life a little better.[7] The convergence of public departments working directly or indirectly for women and their welfare and corporate social responsibility and assistance of the mental health team can do wonders to uplift women's well-being and quality of life working in different spheres of the unorganized sector. There is also a need to do socioeconomic empowerment of women to reduce the burden of mental disorders in women, it can only be possible if women are being accessible to education and employment opportunities. In addition to this, Society also needs to be free of discrimination and violence because reducing discrimination against caste, sex, disability and socioeconomic status is an important aspect to reduce mental disorders.[8]

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

World Health Organization. Geneva; 2021. Available from: https://www.who.int/news/item/28-09-2001-the-world-health-report-2001-mental-disorders-affect-one-in-four-people. [Last accessed on 2021 Jul 08].  Back to cited text no. 1
Saju MD, Rajeev SP, Scaria L, Am B, Anjana N. Mental health intervention at the workplace: A psychosocial care mode. Cogent Psychol 2019;6:1-17.  Back to cited text no. 2
Chakraborty S. Women in the Indian Informal Economy. New Delhi: LEAD Krea University; 2021. p. 1-8. Available from: https://www.indiaspend.com/uploads/2021/03/26/file_upload-446784.pdf. [Last accessed Dec 05].  Back to cited text no. 3
World Health Organization. The World Health Report 2001: Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2001.  Back to cited text no. 4
Gururaj G, Verghese M, Benegal V; Rao GN NMHS Collaborators Group. National Mental Health Survey of India, 2015-16: Summary. Bangalore: NIMHANS; 2016.  Back to cited text no. 5
Patel A, Tripathy S. Social security and unorganized sector: An overview of the women construction workers in Odisha. In: Hans A, Patel A, Mohanty B, Tripathy S, editors.Women Reinventing Development. 1st ed. Londoan: Routledge; 2021. p. 300-33.  Back to cited text no. 6
Nadia A, Mishra PJ. Plight of women workers in unorganized sector of bastar district of Chhattisgarh. J Soc Work Educ 2017;2:07-16.  Back to cited text no. 7
Reddy VS. Mental health issues and challenges in India: A review. Int J Soc Sci Manage Entrepreneurship 2019;3:72-8.  Back to cited text no. 8


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