Why Are Women’s Dreams And Careers Always Considered Expendable?

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.

Who do you think will break these barriers?

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.

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Women usually comply, to be guilt-free and to follow societal as well as age-old cultural norms.

Society and friends

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.

How can these barriers be broken?

  • By taking control of your own life and self
  • By realising the importance of dreams
  • By fulfilling one’s passion and aims
  • By taking support from the staff and family
  • By meeting like-minded women
  • By taking a leap of faith

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

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About the Author

MeenalSonal Mathur

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...

14 Posts | 17,692 Views

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