Read our definition of Successful Women. Why we think we are not celebrating womanhood sufficiently. Should men and women be competing ? What problems we see in current society and much more.
International Women’s day is celebrated on 8th March every year to celebrate achievement of Women in all spheres – Social, economic, cultural or political.
I have generally seen that we celebrate Women achievements who have achieved something outside their homes. I have seldom seen people celebrate accomplishments of women who stay at home commonly called as house wives or nowadays referred to as stay at home moms.
I want to highlight that women who stay at home are great achiever’s as well and are worth celebrating. These women are helping building the next generation of the society. However that does not mean achievements outside home and in other spheres are not celebration worthy and should be downplayed.
It disturbs me little when women say ‘Oh I am just a housewife’ or people looking at those women working in office with more respect and admiration. I have a problem with that mindset!
There is nothing like ‘just a housewife’! If we start hiring someone to do all the job a women managing a home does we will be paying thousands of Rupees per month and won’t even see even half the the love and dedication we see now.
What I find alarming at times is I see people (including women) giving more respect to women who are working in offices than we do to those who choose to stay at home. Managing a home, taking care of a family and raising kids deserve respect. Yes. those who work outside earn money and contribute but who are at home save money and contribute by giving their time and dedication. Working in office is tough but so is managing a home!
Raising a kid is not easy and those who contribute in that are helping nation and society in raising our next generation and they deserve respect, irrespective of the fact whether they are working or doing a business or deciding to stay at home.
Nowadays I also see a rise in number of single moms who are independently raising kids and doing a great job at it. Being a stay at home mom is tough, being a working mom is definitely not easy and being a single mom has its own set of challenges.
Thus all of these women are achievers because they are doing GREAT in what they have CHOSEN to do.
Another problem I usually see that there is a perception that we women need to compete with men. And this becomes all the more prominent in women who choose to work in offices or do a business.
One thing we forget is – We as women are NOT required to prove ourselves or compete with men. We should know that if we decide to anything we CAN do it. The question is what do we decide to do ?
Being independent or empowered does not only tie up with our decision to work outside homes or wearing western clothes or staying late. Being empowered means to be able to take our own decisions, to be able to do what we want to do and make our own informed choices (of course without impacting others negatively, there has to be a balance).
Men and Women are different, physically, emotionally, the way we look at things and the way we react. And its time we need to start accepting the differences and make them work for us as a society or nation.
And that does not mean we should not be giving fair chance and equal opportunity to both, because that is a basic. Men and women both are entitled to education, fair chance at getting jobs, raises, promotions. We should not take decisions in these based on the fact whether the recipient is a man or a woman.
We need to focus on giving fair chance, equal opportunity while knowing that men and women are different and in a society they may be playing different roles and may be required to do different things.
So what do I mean by accepting the fact that men and women are different ?
One of the well established examples where it takes place is maternity leaves. We give women maternity leaves but not men. If we were to treat everyone equally without accepting the differences then we will not need maternity leaves. We give maternity leaves not as a facility but something that women are entitled to because they are different from men. They can give birth and their body needs rest and time to recover after giving birth to a child.
Now, lets take another example. I have nowadays seen a trend the women delay having a child because they do not want their career to be impacted Now the question is, is that something that should happen?
Ideally if we give equal opportunities to both men and women irrespective of their marital status or parental status then the above situation should not arise. Now how does accepting the difference come into picture? If we know that there are some tasks that only a women can do for e.g. being a nurturer then that should be accepted as a fact and we should not judge or compare people for it rather provide respect it deserves and provide support during that phase. Doing this will remove this perception (which is true to some extent) that maternity impacts our career.
If this is not done the long term impact could be a nation where women decide not to have babies because they too want to grow in their career and not take a back seat. Twenty to thirty years down the line there will be no young generation because everyone thought of themselves first.
So its time we stop competing, stop judging, start accepting our differences to create a society where we respect each other for our differences, bring inclusion in our mindset and celebrate our achievements. With this balanced view, we stand a chance that as a society we will not fail.
I know its been a long article, so to summarize:
- We need to respect women irrespective of their choices of being a home maker or going to office or doing a business. Their social status should not be dependent on what they do.
- There is no need of women to compete with men. We need to accept that men and women are different and take advantage of our uniqueness, bring value by our diversity and respect each other.
- Giving fair chance and equal opportunity without judgement and with acceptance of our difference is the need of the hour.
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