Word on the street: Gender equality at work

Public opinion on the streets on Muscat.

The women's day this year was celebrated with a lot of fanfare by many corporates but do you think there are enough women in the workforce?

Asma Rizvi, Manager, corporate sales
In Oman, under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said women are definitely being given a fair representation, so that they can contribute towards the economy. Sectors such as education, health and tourism that have shown a remarkable growth are headed by women.

Ahmed al Hinai, Private sector employee
The number of women working in various companies is increasing and now more companies are following suit. But we still have a long way to go.

Mohammed al Wahibi, Private sector employee
The number of women employees has risen in various sectors but we still don't have enough women at higher positions. In Oman, women can mostly be seen in banking or retail sectors.

Eckrima Elhindi, Sales manager
The numbers are rising across the country. There has been a significant change in the retail sector. However, logistics is one field that needs more women staff.

Geetha Dayanand Shetty, Accounts executive
Yes, a lot of women are working and making their mark in various fields. But I feel women representation needs to increase in high-ranking positions. A lot of corporates too are supporting the change.

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Do you think the government has played an important role in supporting women in all spheres of life?

Rayan Jamil, Teacher
The government is playing an important role in supporting women's rights in accordance with the order of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Today, a woman can be seen excelling in every field. I wish even our society appreciates women's achievements more.

Younis al Salti, Student
Our ruler His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said has done a lot in supporting women in all spheres of life. Today, I see that Omani women have proven themselves in the world. Earlier, Omani women would just work in the house but now they can be seen working in fields such as education and medicine too.

Nasser al Obeidani, Government employee
The government supports women in all spheres. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said has also given every Omani woman a plot of residential land which she can call her own. Women in Oman have also proven their mettle by balancing home and work. Today, women can be seen in all kinds of jobs such as police and education too.

Saif al Balushi, Oil sector employee
Women in Oman have equal rights and they have made a mark in both private and public sectors and hold high-ranking positions. Both our Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education are women. With the support of the government, women are working hard and utilising every opportunity.

Sultan al Hajri, Government employee
The Omani government has supported women in both public and private sectors. Women were treated very differently in the past. But, today, a woman is not just a mother and a wife but also a teacher and a doctor. I hope more Omani women pursue higher education so that they can climb higher.

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Why do women have less representation in higher posts despite their educational qualifications? What do you think is hampering them from rising to the top?

Jagjit Singh, Marketing executive
When at higher posts, one has to stay back for longer hours and forego a lot of personal commitments, which I believe most women find difficult to do. But, then there are many women today who have overcome all obstacles and reached the top.

Rabiya al Merza, Marketing consultant
Most men find it uncomfortable to work under a woman boss and hence even women with higher qualification are often either sidelined or demotivated from rising up. Typically, men are more happy to see women sitting at home even if they are highly qualified.

Amaal al Lawati, Private sector employee
I don't think women have less representation in higher posts. There are a lot of women today who are leading the way. One of the major reasons that used to be an obstacle for women aspiring to rise was family commitments. But now things have changed, men are very understanding and cooperate a lot if their wives are working.

Abdul Hamid al Zadjali, Accountant
Equal representation is being given to women in every sphere and that is the way for our country to progress. But many women choose family over work and they compromise with their career. But we cannot blame anyone for this as it is a personal choice.

Avishek Singh, Businessman
We live in a patriarchal society that prevents women from coming forward despite their educational credentials. However, gender equality is needed but that doesn't mean that women should be showered with privileges even if they don't deserve it. In a professional world, preference should be given to skills and performance.

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Do you think gender equality at the workplace enhances productivity/working environment?

Andreas Nayamat, Sales officer
Of the 50 employees in our department, 10-15 are women. It is good to have women employees, especially in customer service as they are more polite and know how to handle agitated customers better. I think women in Oman are doing well to support the economy.

Sanish Simon, Administration
Our staff strength is quite small and so we have very few women employees. It also depends on the type of work where women can be recruited. Certain sectors such as banks can have more female employees. It's good to have women colleagues at workplaces as one gets to learn from their experiences. The same holds true when employing staff of different nationalities.

Ishaq Mohammed, Oilfield production operator
I work in the desert, and we don't have any female employees there as it is difficult to work in such conditions. However, they do come for training. But we have a lot of women in our main office in the city. We have different sectors in our oil company, and I see a lot of women doing well in the IT field. Women today hold high positions, and I think this will continue in the future.

Amish Malaviya, Sales
We try to focus on women empowerment in our company. Omani women work in the human resources department and even at the reception. We also have expatriate women employed in other positions in the company. I think we should have more women in our company as they are more punctual, professional and accurate in their work.

K Ramachandran, Accountant
Our office strength is quite small and hence very few women are working with us. There is no downside to having women staff at work as they are better than men in many fields. Women are better in computer and reception work.

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