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As women we must break societal barriers, and take a step towards our dreams; family and societal support will surely follow!
“Why don’t you restart?”
“Why do you feel pressured to have a career?”
“What obstacles are you facing? You can manage both home and work.”
Do these questions sound familiar? You’re not alone.
Do you think women create barriers for themselves? Barriers are neither created physically, nor are they visible to the person closest to them, but they still do exist. Women are preconditioned to think and work within certain societal boundaries, and many women who cross that boundary are marked out by others. This boundary is smaller in diameter or even negligible for men.
If you look at the official stats you will surely agree with me! Data by the World Bank suggests that women made up only 20% of India’s labour force in 2019, as compared to 39.2% being the global average.
The barriers women face are either rooted at birth or formed during their growing years. And they become so strong that they solidify and become a thick wall inhibiting women’s thought processes and working culture.
Pre-set rules built from birth: Women are brought up in an environment where they see tasks assigned according to gender. Though gender neutrality is changing the way we look at parenting styles, still, there are miles of distance that need to be crossed.
Choice of career: Often a girl child is guided and mentored in a manner that when they become a woman, they can easily shift careers or leave their jobs.
Have you ever heard of a man taking a sabbatical from his job to “look after the family”? No, it is always women who are expected to make that sacrifice, and put in charge of maintaining the peaceful functioning of the house at the expense of their careers.
Women usually comply, to be guilt-free and to follow societal as well as age-old cultural norms.
If a woman even thinks of crossing these invisible barriers imposed on her, many red flags are then raised by society about her. Even female friends are not supportive, and give unsolicited advice in the name of concern and suggestions.
Can a woman support another woman by just staying silent and not asking questions about how she will balance her family and career? Or why her career and dreams are a higher priority than her family? Men are never asked these questions. They have never been asked to stop dreaming, it has always been asked of women to start sacrificing themselves. Women are asked to start compromising or adjusting; as though the whole family will sink if the lady of the house does not adjust to particular social norms!
If there is a problem, there needs to be a solution too. Having an optimistic approach towards life, we have identified a few ways by which women can cross these hurdles.
Recently, while attending the Breaking Barriers virtual session with Women’s Web, a drastic change occurred in me for good. The presence of progressive women at the session inspired everyone to want to thrive in their respective fields. The session made one ponder why women tend to put their dreams on the back burner. As women we must break societal barriers, and take a step towards our dreams, family and societal support will surely follow!
We can learn from women who have reached some notable milestones in their careers and have set an example for us all. If they can do it, then we can also surely wear the confidence cape and fly off towards our goals!
Image source: a still from the film Dil Dhadakne Do
Meenal & Sonal blogger duo wishes to spread the aura of positivity through their writing. They use very simple, pure and unique ways to explain various concepts of day to day activities which easily connect to read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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