I knew her as a modern urban woman, for everything that the phrase refers to today. Highly successful career wise, she was an inspiration to all the younger people who knew her. A defiantly married lady, she was known to have a very happy marital life, balancing family and work wisely.
When I met her this time, my memory started to seem fallacious. What I had known and heard of her seemed to be deceiving me. After a long talk with her, I found her to be exactly the opposite. She was confused, indecisive, struggling to keep up with her job, and almost on the verge of a family breakdown.
Thinking about it, this is not a new story. People do get into ups and downs in life. People are forced to live up to the social expectations or alternatively put up with stigma. This is when a support becomes important, and lack of that distorts everything else including a person’s self esteem, morale and confidence.
For some reasons, social stigma and pressure are more often related to women than men. We are not just talking about disrespectful labels but also about the tittle-tattle, here and there. Family breakdowns are usually seen to be a result of ‘her’ career obligations or high ambitions. To add, it is she who needs to compromise everything. Also in our society, it is a known fact that usually working women are next to multitasking robots. Like all people, even they cannot balance things sometimes. Unwanted situations in the workplace could harm the harmony at home or vice versa. If the family members do not understand and support, there could be a bitter end.
For women to be successful, I assume that healthy relationship with spouse in addition to freedom to choose, express and do what they want is very much important. Encouragement, mutual trust, respect and own spaces could make things better. There, however, exist situations where women do neglect their household responsibilities due to high career aims. This is still accepted if there is an alternative.
Women today are much more educated, forward and are in line with men. Many aspire to become as successful as their fathers or husbands. Compelling such women to stay at home and take care of the family could be a real bad disaster. Though we might have been almost out of the dowry system or similar unethical practices, this would be the modern version of what happened then.
Women are much more empowered as compared to the past. We still have a long way to go in order to grow. Following history, all successful countries today had women working towards it and contributing a lot. Had they been forced to stay at home and cook, they would probably not be where they are today. If we consider the work of the housewives in GDP, they alone would make up about 7-10% of it.
Most women have separated from their partners mainly because they were forced not to succeed. We know cases where competent wives are harassed by the husbands. The family responsibilities become so high that women simply cannot give what they can to work. This is one reason why women can never be as successful as men, and are always looked as subordinates.
Women are capable of holding positions just like men. They just need the opportunity to grow, the thing that lacks in the society. Emotional downturns occur usually because of a non understanding partner, who does not let them grab the opportunities they gain with difficulty. Therefore we are left with a dilemma. If the partner is not supportive, should women always lose their positions, or in other case face the everyday taunt?