A daughter. A sister. A Wife. A mother. These are the roles women are identified within our societies. She has always been discouraged from pursuing her own identity as a woman. In the past, every woman struggled with the fundamental right to educate herself.
Now in the 21st century, we can see an increase in the percentage of educated women, but are they still allowed to be determined to pursue a career? Is education merely provided to them to increase their market value when it’s time to auction them during the wedding? Can we deny that even today, many families think that if you are not a mother or a wife, you are not fulfilling a woman’s role? For them, it’s the only role that counts. These are some questions which plague society but are hardly recognized even in the age of modernization.
After having a taste of the myriad opportunities awaiting them in their professional lives, women are expected to settle down and start a family. While having a family can be equally crucial for a woman, she must not be compelled to give up her career.
Even after marriage, the choice of reproduction is not of the woman’s but is a domestic compulsion imposed on her in many cases. Throughout her life, she has fulfilled various roles, then why is she not seen capable enough to juggle the responsibilities of a mother and a working woman together. When a woman becomes a mother, her main priority would always be her child, but to assume that there can’t be a shift in her priorities is wrong on our part as a society. When a woman decides to join back and pursue her career again, she might already be facing the dilemma and inner guilt that she is a selfish and neglecting mother. Also, as a society, we fail to understand that parenting is a shared responsibility rather than being the mother’s sole duty. If a man can return to work while being a father, why can a woman, having taken the required biologically- prescribed sabbatical, not be allowed to resume work again.
Being a mother is maddening and terrifying at times, yet it is also glorious and beautiful. Parents are the first potential powerful role model for their children. A child is growing up learning that he/she can achieve anything that they want if he/she is willing to work for it. They are taught to have faith in themselves and dream of a successful life. They are trained to share responsibilities in the family and break the gender stereotypes. However, it does not imply that a woman starts to disregard her family when she rejoins work. As a man can be a doting father, loving husband, and a responsible person in business, so can a woman be a loving mother and wife while simultaneously being an accountable businesswoman.
In any case, women, despite facing many biases, have still taken over the professional world. However, even here, they are subjected to many prejudices. The foremost challenge faced is to be perfect all the time. Any mistake on her part would immediately imply that she is better as a caretaker of her family only. Further, a woman is subjected to covert sexism where no matter how hardworking they might be, they are always considered inferior to the male co-workers.
Sarojini Naidu, Shakuntala Devi, Lakshmi Sanghal, Mary Kom, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Irom Chanu, Sania Mirza, Indira Nooyi, Madhuri Kanitkar, and Indira Gandhi are a few examples of women who have created harmony between their career and personal life. History stands as a testimony to the resilience and power embedded in women to stand against prevailing societal orders and stand for themselves in the face of discriminatory treatment meted out. Women belonging to various societal ranks have set a precedent for the justified usage of power and stand against discrimination faced by any identity in society. A working woman. A mother. A wife. A sister. A daughter. Women are capable of juggling all these responsibilities even when the company doesn’t expect her to. Despite being considered spineless and docile, women have tirelessly proven to be the backbone of society through their tenacity and steadfastness.
Written by Khushi Rungta.
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