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I was surprised to hear that my mother-in-law thought, my job was a hobby to avoid household responsibilities!
“She is doing the job out of her hobby and to pass her time and of course it’s a good excuse to move away from her household responsibilities,” these words of my mother-in-law caught me by surprise.
Professional ambition is expected of men but is optional or worse, sometimes even negative, like in my case, for women. Men are often applauded for being ambitious and powerful and successful, but women who display the same traits often pay a social penalty, their accomplishments come at a cost.
My parents raised me with a view of increasing equality, a trend that I thought would continue. In retrospect, I think I was quite idealistic. Integrating professional and personal aspirations proved far more challenging. After my graduation, I realized the world has not evolved much, at least not as much as I believed it would.
At workplace, the gender discrimination was quite visible. Many of my female friends worked full time, part-time, and just as many chose to be stay-at-home mothers. This was a mirror of national trend.After marriage, many highly trained women are dropping out of the workforce, and one of them was me.
During those years my career demanded maximum time investment, at the same time biology demanded that I should have children. The normal Indian society trend did not spare my home too, the partner, supported by mother-in-law, did not share the housework and child-rearing, so I found myself with full-time physical and mentally draining job.
This scenario of Indian women specially trying ‘to do it all’. And then deciding that something has to be given up for the sake of family, and that something is usually their careers. Though the competitive exams result show altogether a different picture, where girls are increasingly outperforming boys; suddenly the ratio gets reversed at workplace or in leadership roles at professional level.
As Sheryl Sandberg says in Lean In, “Career progression often depends upon taking risks and advocating for oneself, traits that girls in our societal set-up are discouraged from exhibiting. This may be the reason why girls’ academic gains have not yet translated into significantly higher number of women in top jobs.”
With today’s Millennial women, who are far more focused and stronger to keep the work-home balance, it gives me a hope to see more women believing in themselves and more men becoming a part of their aspiration, by supporting women in the workforce and at home.
Where is the support system for us?
Image by: Jacob Lund via Canva Pro
Always exploring the lost self in the waves of time.....smiling with the tender hearts....putting on paper all that could observe and dream. Looking beyond the life deje vus. read more...
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: