Can We Stop Asking Women Why They Work Despite Being ‘Financially Sound’?

Why are homemakers still mocked and discouraged when they get an opportunity to work outside the house? Why can't they work simply because they want to?

Why are homemakers still mocked and discouraged when they get an opportunity to work outside the house? Why can’t they work simply because they want to?

The moment you hear the word ‘career,’ the first image coming to your mind is that of young men and women looking for a job to earn money, name and fame.

At times, people with a job quit it due to personal reasons but restart it after a long gap. And despite some difficulties they might face, they gradually land up a job due to prior work experience.

Why are they disrespected everywhere?

Very few people start a fresh career after a long gap, perhaps after marriage and having children. These people tend to face a lot of problems at home as well as outside.

At home, women, generally, live the lives of slaves, devoid of any respect from the society or their own family, with only the tag of a housewife. I am considering only women here because they are the worst sufferers in this scenario.

Home-makers probably do as much work as a professional woman does but rarely do they get the same respect or recognition. Just because they don’t earn money, their services to the family are taken for granted. The fact that they take a lot of efforts to save money for their families is often overlooked. Right from bargaining to managing the finances of the family, these women do it all.

Their efforts are rarely recognised

And if these women get an opportunity to work outside, the ones mocking them and calling them ‘useless’ or ‘worthless’ will not be able to do so. Neither will they be able to look down upon these women. However, if the family needs financial support, the woman who has now begun working starts getting equal respect in the family.

But there is a different scenario as well.

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Even if the family is financially sound, they still treat their women like slaves. They rarely recognise these women’s efforts like cooking, taking care of the kids, of the family, handling the household chores and getting things done outside the house too.

These women suffer the worst and the most. If the housewife gets an opportunity to work, she still faces opposition from within their family. She is constantly asked as to why she wants to work when there is enough money in the family. The woman has to fight at every stage.

‘Why do you have to work?’

After lot of struggle she finally comes out to work. Even here, she faces a lot of awkward questions. Right from her interviewer to her colleagues everyone wants to know one very piercing thing, ‘Why are you working when you’re financially sound?’ It seems like the woman in India has no identity of her own.

Her husband and family seem to determine everything for her – right from her respect to her finances. Due to this, she cannot openly share with her colleagues what she goes through at home. She cannot tell them, ‘I don’t have any dignity or respect at home. And all of it traumatised me so much that I took this job.’ Instead, she has to make excuses like, ‘I had too much free time on my hands,’ for having to take up the job.

Women need their financial independence too

The million-dollar question is, why do women, despite all the suffering, continue to hide their pain? The answer is simple, they are conditioned deeply, both by the society as well as their family to hide the cruelties and flaws of the family. Women fear that people will judge them negatively, and are still concerned about the reputation of the relatives who never respected them in the first place.

In my opinion, women should think about their own self-respect and if required they should take necessary action. If anyone asks why are you working if you are financially sound? They should reply that they also have an own identity to be built in the society. That they need to have their own financial independence.

These aspects are generally ignored in Indian society. I personally, would want all women who have suffered in the past to help and empower those suffering.

Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Lipstick Under My Burkha

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