Supporting a woman’s career is not just about diversity programs at work. It has to start with men doing their bit at home.
Household chores are assumed to be a woman’s duty. This is a universal fact, irrespective of the region or the culture.
In the 21st century, where we women are free to pursue our careers, we manage household as well as office work. This double burden is often cited as a barrier to women’s progress.
Research has shown that women work longer hours than men – an average of 30 minutes a day longer in developed countries and 50 minutes in developing countries. They devote 1 to 3 hours more per day to housework than men, 2 to 10 times the amount of time per day to care for children and dependent family members and 1 to 4 hours less per day to market activities.
Working mothers often feel anxious about neglecting their children or dependent family members, getting others in turn concerned over our work performance. This anxiety and stress is the mental labour that we have to deal with.
Fulfilling the career ambitions and dreams can be much easier if a woman has an understanding and cooperative spouse/partner. Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook COO, in her TED Talk says, “Make your partner a real partner”.
We working women need our respective partners to help us with the household work and childcare rather than doing it all by ourselves. What’s more – it’s not just upon us to ask. True male allies will step up to do their fair share of work at home.
We must decide on the distribution of our time and energy. Like when and how we want to devote more energy to the children and when to the pursuit of our dreams. Having a real partner would lessen the burden and reduce our anxiety. It would make us happy, confident and more efficient at work and household management.
I believe that a woman’s choice of partner greatly impacts her career and life. You deserve as much care, support and freedom as you afford to your partner. Balancing the household chores would help both of us to understand each other’s troubles and appreciate the abilities and strengths that you have.
It would truly empower you and also add harmony to your married life. Moreover, it would create a marriage where both partners are equal in the true sense of the word.
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Image of a 1950s US housewife via Pixabay