PLIGHT OF FEMALE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS OF SURAT CITY
Background: With the rapid increase in construction sector, the number of female construction workers is increased. The problems of women worker is still not addressed adequately by health sector. Aims and objective: The present study is aimed to explore problems of female workers at construction sites in working environment and to document issues like gender bias, living conditions, vulnerability and slackness of health among female working in construction field. Methodology: This was a Cross sectional study conducted in May 2011in which all females working at the randomly selected construction site were enrolled. The pre-designed semi-structured questionnaire was prepared to study the participant’s response. In-depth interview technique was also used to strengthen the findings. Results: Total of 118 female construction workers participated in the study with mean age found to be 22 years with SD of 6 years. Mean daily wages of female was 120 Rs while for male it was 245 Rs which is double than what female getting. Major health complaints were fatigue/weakness (61 %), backache (30 %), cough (17.5 %), fever (17 %), skin itching (10.5 %) and diarrhoea (7 %). They were not even using the government medical facility due to lack of awareness and knowledge about this. No safety measures provided to female as compare to male except at 2 sites where female were provided ‘gloves’. Some (6%) of the working females has abuse of chewing tobacco daily or smoking ‘bidi’. The living condition was merely enough to provide any privacy for female. Conclusion: As migratory and floating population, female working in construction field needs attention. Lack of social security and family support make them a vulnerable group for addiction and violence. Alternate way for providing healthcare for these women should be sort out early.