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Where is The Support System for Married Working Women?

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.

Being professional comes 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.

Where is the support system for us after marriage?

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.

Partners need to be true partners, not just on papers.

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.

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Where is the support system for us?

Image by: Jacob Lund via Canva Pro

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About the Author

Rachna Goswami

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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