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If a woman has given up so much to support a man and their family, if not financially, then emotionally and logistically, how can alimony not be her right?
Regarding people saying women shouldn’t take alimony in a divorce if they are independent: I agree. It’s best if you can walk away without that. But does our patriarchal system give women that privilege and choice?
To the men worried about this, I have to say, if you don’t want to lose your money in alimony, then treat your wife nicely. Or better still, take equal responsibility for your children and parents, and don’t create a situation where she has to leave her job to take care of the kids or ageing parents. If she does, and you divorce, don’t even think of NOT giving alimony.
Even Infosys Narayana Murthy has gone on record to say he told his wife that “both couldn’t work as the children needed one parent 24×7”. Even Melinda Gates quit her job. Even Michelle Obama quit her job.
The laws have changed now, so much so that women who are employed don’t have to be given ‘maintenance’ anymore by the man after divorce, but he still has to pay maintenance for the kids.
Also, if the woman earns more, then she has to pay the alimony.
If you still think it is unfair that men have to pay full maintenance for the kids, the fact is that patriarchy had created a situation where men earn more than women (pay parity has still not been achieved) and girls in many places are married off earlier than boys and not as educated.
Once a baby is born, parenting becomes a hugely unequal labor in most families. It is that way right from nature to our culture. When it’s the woman who does the bulk of the heavy lifting in motherhood, the man taking care of the financial aspects at least should not be a matter of argument.
Why did I say nature and not just culture? Because it is the woman who carries the child for 9 months, it’s not 50-50. She goes through labor pains, sometimes for days on end. She is the one that breastfeeds, having interrupted sleep for years in a row.
Culturally, unless you have a partner who is very hands on and loves being a parent, you are literally on your own as a mother, from waking up at night to soothe a newborn to burping after every feed to helping with homework and waking up early to prepare breakfast and lunch before school.
People say that that if your husband is not doing these things, its because you haven’t ‘communicated’ your needs to him, that you as a woman have to ‘teach‘ him how to be a father. Because it seems that ‘men don’t know’.
Oh, but do women have an inbuilt switch which turns us into mothers overnight? Are we born with an inner mother guidance system that’s just waiting to have a baby and will automatically tell us how to change a nappy, when to pick up a baby, how to burp, how to bathe the baby, etc?
No, women don’t have to teach a man how to be a father. Also, if that natural instinct is lacking, nobody can instil it in you.
If a man has been forcing his wife to have a kid because of family pressure when she doesn’t want to and he didn’t give her a choice, then he’d better be a hands-on parent and if they get divorced then he sure as hell better pay for the kids’ maintainance and education.
Also, when a parent (in-law or one’s own) falls sick, mostly it is the woman who leaves her job to stay home and nurse the parent back to health. Especially in the case of inlaws, this is considered her duty. Their own son won’t do it but this girl who came in from another family is expected to.
And then if they have to divorce, men will still have the ‘audacity’ to refuse her any maintenance!
You know what?
I wish our system was not so rigged to be patriarchal. Then women would just focus on getting educated, getting a career, and never give it up. Even if they did, it would be only because they want to.
Karishma has been writing short stories since she was 8 and poetry since she was 12. She ended up studying Zoology, then Montessori, and then psychology, always feeling ‘’something was missing’. She worked in the read more...
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When someone accuses you of "too much feminism", what they are really saying is, "I am uncomfortable with you challenging the status quo and disrupting my privilege".
Time and again, there is one phrase that keeps coming up in the social media discourse on feminism. Any guesses?
Ah, no prizes for guessing the infamous “itni bhi feminist” or “too much feminism” phrase, a classic eye-roller for me, and I am sure for many more of my tribe, in the realm of gender equality discussions.
Pray tell me, how can an ideology, a movement be too ‘much’? It’s not salt or the seasoning of your soup where you can go, “Oops, too much salt, only one spoon was required”. Either you stand for what feminism stands for, or you don’t.
We often hear of relationships doomed by distances, of love wearing off when physical proximity ceases, and of growing apart. Most of my life I grew up witnessing the opposite of this. Thus, my belief in growing together whether distant or near stands tall.
When I think back today, I owe a lot of my value system to being a part of army life. This is the love of steel-hearted women who breathe life and passion into the soldiers of the armed forces.
A book by Swapnil Pandey, The Force Behind the Forces, is apt here. The love of these gritty women powers the men to confidently step out and face the most hostile situations. I feel privileged to share a personally witnessed account of this undying love and faith.
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