Friday 21 September 2018

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Beyond the Horizon

Every mother is a Working Mother

 

The policy makers may not understand the economic value of a homemaker’s work, but we must acknowledge, “Every Mother is a Working mother.” Once we, the society, acknowledge this, it will help the mothers to improve their self-esteem and self-image that will empower them to fight many of their tiny battles.


Women in India face many problems like dowry and deaths due to dowry demands, female infanticide, disparity in education, inadequate nutrition, disparity in wage payments, sexual harassments, domestic violence, trafficking of women etc. 

Everybody talks about empowering the woman. Some people believe that economic, social, and political independence will help her unshackle bondage of her dependence. Possibly this is true.When we think of women's inequality, we blame men, parents, family, government and society. But we conveniently forget to blame "US". When the blame game starts, we forget that "WE' are part of this society and we also have a responsibility towards weeding out this discriminatory behavior towards women.

Whenever we ask any house maker, "what do you do?" she will say, "Oh, nothing! I am a housewife!" 

When she says this, she demeans her value as a wife, mother and a woman. What does she mean by she is doing nothing? She manages her entire household. Getting up early in the morning, making breakfast and Tiffins for her children and husband, cooking, cleaning, ironing, shopping, gardening, taking up children's homework, maintaining good relations with friends, relatives and family, organizing parties when required etc. 

Is this "NOTHING"?

Women in the villages do double the work of their counterparts in city. So how does it turn into ‘nothing'? Why does she not realize this? Why do we allow her to say that she is the homemaker and that she does nothing? A mother's job is a full time job. The writer Mildred B. Veramont, says, "Being a full time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs-since the payment is pure love."

The policy makers may not understand the economic value of a homemaker's work, but we must acknowledge, "Every Mother is a Working mother." Once we, the society, acknowledge this, it will help the mothers to improve their self-esteem and self-image that will empower them to fight many of their tiny battles.

The code of Manu states that, "father protects a woman in her childhood, her husband protects her in youth, and her sons protect her in her old age; a woman is never fit for independence." It means she is a baton in the running race, where the runner transfers her from one person to the other and she can be thrown anywhere and anyhow once the race is over.

Though this is supposed to be applicable to Indian Hindu women only, the idea of women being dependent on someone has percolated to most of the Indian women irrespective of caste, creed, religion, or region. 

Most of the women believe that they cannot do anything without the support of their men. Whether the women are economically independent or not, they believe that they have to tolerate exploitation from her husband silently; otherwise she will not have ‘any respect' in the society. Many women tolerate their husband's adulterous and lecherous behavior quietly for the ‘sake of their children and society'.

Is it a fact that women have to depend on men? It is nice to have your husband as your companion and soul mate, but if the same person turns to be her tormentor, why should she tolerate him? Is it because the Manusmriti says it or because society feels that is the right behavior?

The concept of dependency is a very romantic idea. Unless we dispel and destroy this pseudo-romanticism, women will not be able to gain her independence, whether she is economically strong or not.

Women have very funny ideas ingrained in their mind. We will find very few women stay unmarried willingly. We will not find girls going alone to hotels for a cup of tea or a stroll in the park. 

Why? 

This is because women are supposed to be dependent on ‘SOMEONE'. They are not supposed to do anything alone. Unfortunately, such ideas make a woman doubt her own capabilities.

We have many such notions in our society. All those who scream on top of their voices about women's equality, especially media, will be found writing about the ‘fairer sex'. What does that mean? Are all women fair and weak? Does color of the skin depends on gender of the person? This vocabulary and attitude needs to be changed.

There are instances where women having no sons are abandoned or killed. Sometimes the husband marries again. 

Now, it is a known fact that the X-Y chromosome factor is the deciding factor for gender of the child. Females always have XX chromosomes. But in males, it is XY. It means Y is a male-specific chromosome. It carries the gene, which activates growth of a testicle instead of an ovary.

It also means a man's sperm contains one chromosome: X or Y. A female's egg always contains only one - the X chromosome. When it is XX, it is a girl. And when it is XY, it is a boy. Thus, the father is the determiner of a child's sex. 

Yet, how many of us blame men for a girl child born to the couple? The blame still goes to the woman and the woman in question, whether educated or not, takes this insult meekly. Have you heard of any instance where the man is blamed for gender of the child?

Empowerment of women, their economic independence, and their political and social status definitely needs attention. But at the same time, these small little tidbits showing our chauvinistic attitude towards women also need to be changed. Moreover, the change should begin from one's own self.  




nice article. A true fact.

 
nayana adarkar |

Nice article! For the last many centuries, women were financially dependent on men and that was one main reason why they got assigned a secondary role! All this picture is slowly changing for good! Women are now shining in every field and have proved that they are in no way inferior to men - be it education, earnings, cultural activities or any other field!

 
vishwas prabhudesai |

its great to read a small article that also from a person who has taught me during my childhood days when we were staying at destero. i used to enjoy ur tution classes when i was small. learnt good things from you and would like to do good.

 
biplop paul |

Ms Prashanti once again writes a fabulous piece. Very true yet put across in a clear, simple, easy language without any clutter.

 
Anand Pandit |

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Prashanti Talpankar

Prashanti Talpankar is a teacher by profession, teaching in college. A social activist from student days, she also writes short stories, children's stories, drama scripts and columns for newspapers. She also acts in films and dramas.

 

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