Social workers play a vital role in people’s lives. Their primary responsibility is to help individuals, families, and organizations solve problems and cope with any personal issues they are facing. Social workers also promote human rights and well-being, which includes supporting the rights of children, families, or disadvantaged groups. One key area of social work that is perhaps less widely known is the issues faced by women, from pay equality, discrimination, and reproductive rights, to gender disparity, and more. In this article are a few of the issues faced by women and the ways social workers help in these areas.
How do social workers help women?
Social workers are committed to the emotional and mental well-being of people. They abide by a strict set of guidelines known as the Social Work Code of Ethics. If you’re wondering what is the Social Work Code of Ethics?, below are the values that make up these guidelines:
- Social Justice
- Dignity and Worth of the Person
- Importance of Human Relationships
These six principles form the basis of the work that social workers do. When it comes to helping women especially, they are required to make healthy ethical decisions. The guidelines above inform that decision-making process, particularly as they advocate for women’s rights and greater access to housing, employment, and education.
Key issues women face
The issues faced by women at home and in public are multiple and complex. Below are a few of them in detail and the ways that social workers can help.
Equality of pay
Gender pay gap has been an ongoing issue for many years. Social workers can advocate for women who are receiving unfair pay by pushing for laws and policies. For example, under the Equal Pay Act in America, women and men are to be paid equally for the same work. While the laws are still not always adhered to, a social worker can use the legislation in place to advocate on behalf of affected women.
Domestic violence is sadly one of the most common issues that social workers come across. As well as assisting with the inner workings of the relationship between the two partners and their children, social workers work to protect abused women, advocating for them in the courts and through social services.
Reproductive justice is about empowering women to have the capacity to make healthy decisions about their bodies, sexuality, and families. Social workers can help women in this arena either on an individual one-to-one level or in a broader sense through non-profit organizations or social institutions. While reproductive justice represents a broad area, social workers are at the forefront of helping women by advocating for their rights in both the private and public arena.
Social workers help improve the world
Social work is incredibly varied, but their primary aim is to improve people’s lives by helping with interpersonal problems and promoting rights and freedoms. If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues listed above, contact your local social worker for help.