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“God helps those who help themselves”
I firmly believe in this quote and so I also firmly believe that as women, the solution to all our problems lies in our hands only. If we don’t fight our own case, no one else possibly can, even if we cry at our loudest best for gender equality or women empowerment. Sadly, not all women in this country are blessed with an understanding family, a top-notch education and most importantly, freedom to exercise their choices.
But few of us who have this privilege, an immense responsibility lies on our shoulders to act in the benefit of women in general. Even the minutest life choices that we make can have a tremendous impact on the lives of general women population in our country. I do not intend to preach about joining some NGO for the cause of women or to take out time from our busy schedules to advocate for women empowerment. I think these actions can only have a scattered impact. What I wish to do is to highlight the power that lies in each and every choice we make in our own lives.
The first and most important thing is to take our education seriously. We don’t necessarily have to outperform the boys with our scores in school but we do have to remember that our education will play a very crucial role in shaping up to our future and also future of our next generation. Also, we must find our unique talents and hone them. Remember not to choose them based on what our parents have decided for us or what the society thinks is right for us or what seems like an easy choice. We ought to have an ambition in life which matches our passion and true aspirations, an aim different from settling down happily after marriage and raising a family.
That is no longer an accomplishment to be proud of. The need of the hour is to stop being complacent about playing the role of a perfect mother or a perfect wife. If we want real change to happen, we must look beyond the role of a housewife and contribute something bigger to the society, thus, to our country and hence, to this world. Well, a lot of us may cringe at this moment thinking that housewives contribute no lesser, they work full time and ensure they raise good human beings for the generation to come. No doubt they do. But aren’t they limiting themselves?
All of us possess unique talents and gifts which the Almighty has bestowed upon us in the form of our capabilities. Some of us have a mesmerising voice, some of us have excellent culinary skills, some are good at coding and developing logic while some may be an excellent sportsperson and some others may be great teachers. Why not contribute our gifts to society. For housework, we can hire people who specialise at it and as far as raising kids is concerned, we may take a career break for as long as we feel but with a promise in our hearts to return back to our professions as soon as we can, being careful not to get caught up in the grind of daily household chores. Please note that we are live examples which our children are getting exposed to and will be emulating in their lives. Our daughters will take inspiration from us and our sons will learn the role of women in the family through the choices we make.
When we choose to have a profession, we need support from our partner in sharing the household burden. This brings me to my next point, which is – choosing a life partner. While it’s tempting to go for a higher earning life partner with whom we can spend our entire lives without having to worry about financial stability or without ever being bothered to venture out ourselves to feed the family or pay the rent. Trust me this is one of the biggest reasons why gender equality seems too daunting to accomplish. If we have taken our education or our skills seriously, we should not fear financial instability at all.
We should be confident enough about being able to earn a living for our family at any time in life, in any situation and all by ourselves. The only thing we should be looking at while choosing a partner is how supportive and encouraging he is to our ambitions and how willing he is to share the household responsibilities. Some of us may still not be fortunate to get the ideal life partner but still, we would be in a better situation as compared to when we trade our identity and freedom for a financially secure life thereby giving into the wishes and whims of a dominant life partner at every single stage in life. Choose a partner who is more likely to treat you as an equal with whom you do not lose your identity and your voice. A person who treats you like a partner in its truest essence.
The power of these two choices itself will change the situation of women in our society drastically. One- women will be respected in the society for their contributions apart from making their families proud, two- parents will not have to scout for a rich family to marry their daughters and hence girls will be more of an asset to their families instead of being a liability, three – women will have an understanding partner and so cases of domestic violence will certainly diminish. Dowry word will slowly fade from our societal dictionaries and female infanticide will be unthinkable in times to come. We will have a voice in every single decision related to our marital relationship. Four – if each one of us takes up a profession as per our talent and passions, we will surely do well in them and reach high in our careers. There will be an increase in the percentage of women in the workforce. Many of us will be occupying high ranks in the judiciary, in the parliament, the corporate and so on, thus making our presence felt and also participating in making policies and laws equitable for women in this country. The general women population will get a voice through our representation. We will be able to play decisive roles in thwarting social evils like rape, stalking, acid attacks against women.
Therefore, I urge fellow women to recognize the power that lies in every decision we make in our individual lives and how it has a ripple effect in the lives of women, lesser fortunate than us. Mothers play the most significant role in the lives of their children by virtue of being the closest person to them since even before their birth and we, by playing the role of a supportive mother and/or a mother-in-law, can definitely mould our girls to carve a better life for themselves and pave a better life for further generation of women.
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