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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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As he stood in front of his door, Nishant prayed that his wife would be in a better mood. The baby thing was tearing them apart. When was the last time he had seen his wife smile?
Veena got into the lift. It was a festival day, and the space was crammed with little children dressed in bright yellow clothes, wearing fancy peacock feather crowns, and carrying flutes. Janmashtami gave her the jitters. She kept her face down, refusing to socialize with anyone.
They had moved to this new apartment three months ago. The whole point of shifting had been to get away from the ruthless questioning by ‘well-wishers’.
“You have been married for ten years! Why no child yet?”
I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
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