Women need to work
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Women are seen working in corporate Pakistan largely doing jobs which have traditionally been labelled as women’s work like clerical, secretarial, catering, teaching, public relations and front desk, medical practitioners and other health related jobs, labourers in production units and to some extent in human resources and marketing fields, notwithstanding exception that can be found in almost any discipline; far and few.
In many cases women work more than their men do. Since time immemorial, women have great responsibility for unpaid and invisible physical work as well: bearing and rearing children, housework — there is a lot to be done at home — and caring for the sick and elderly and rural women working with men in agricultural fields and animal husbandry.
Broad scouting reveals this: Men want to come back home from work to waiting women. Men feel ‘threatened’ by women in leadership roles at workplace. They find problems in finding a way to balance the needs of housework with the demands of activities of working women.
Our society so far does not offer equal opportunities in terms of reconciliation of work and life for women. Dr. Agha Haroon, an educationist says, “In traditional society like ours, male members tell their female wards to work or what to do instead of asking them if they want to or what they want to do? Earlier in life even the subjects for the girl students are chosen by parents as per their perceptions rather than seeing the aptitudes of female students. Which is why one finds women interested, for example, in Information Technology doing courses in Home Economics and that is one of the reasons that some women do not excel in careers if and when they join work?”
On the other hand, “We do not find enough employable females,” says Asad Raza, Manager Human Resources in an equal opportunity multinational service organization, “and even those who are employed with us are seen under the guardianship of their fathers, brothers and husbands or some other male family member.”
Generally, equality for women is considered as important area of human resource development and is strongly recommended at the workplace, but only in theory. Continuously tightening economic compulsions today seem to set clear limits for male members to decide for women to work or stay home. The tilt having been towards working and earning some additional income. Waqar Mehdi says, “My wife works because my income is not enough to make the ends meet. My aged mother has to look after our two years old baby when I and my wife are away and I have to pick and drop her to and from work every day. We have been thinking that she should leave the job and stay home to look after the baby for some time. Only she is waiting for her promotion that is due any moment. She will leave the moment she gets the higher grade.”
Some time women are allowed to work for the ‘waiting period’ – after completion of their education and before they are married off. “My daughter graduated from University of the Punjab and is working in a bank now. It is good job with potential for growth. But will she be able to continue her job after marriage depends upon her husband,” says Karim Dad.
“Our baho betiyan (wives and daughters) do not work,” seems the attitude of a major segment of our society. Proponents of this attitude think that work is only for the monitory benefits and has nothing to do with personal fulfillment or enrichment in life. Some even find it hard to allow their female children in higher educations.
Decision to work as per one’s own liking should be a personal preference. Every one should be entitled to work not only for monitory rewards but also for tapping personal potential in whatever one is good at. Ideally, there should be no gender or other barriers. In the absence of any policy for human resource development at national level, corporate sector should open up to women workforce and provide more women friendly opportunities. Male members should also allow their wards to join the workforce, customs, traditions, and unproven myths notwithstanding.
posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:09 AM,
- At 9:11:00 AM, Sajini Chandrasekera said...
Love this post and enjoyed reading . We live in a modern world and as men women are also very educated and seek for high position jobs . In old days women were not allowed to word by the father or husband and was under the male dominance but now women spread their wings to out world and slowly being independent . Still men dont like women to work and become independent coz as you say men fear of loosing their controls over women . But personally i think women should be independent and have their freedom .
- At 10:55:00 PM, said...
A very interesting and thought provoking article. I think that women should be given the right to work outside home, but not at the cost of their families, because, by religion and naturally, their first preference should be their home not work, otherwise, our families, including our parents, children, husbands and everyone will suffer.
These days, ladies are studying and working and it is acceptable in society.So, it is no more an issue. The issue is their role as a homemaker (mother & wife) is taken for granted. They are not appreciated for their mentioned roles whereas this is she who relaxed her husband to excel in his career. He works day & night without worrying about his home and kids because he knows his wife is there at his back to take good care of them. Similarly, in children's success and good brought mother's role is very crucial. But when after putting in all her efforts, compromises and sacrifices, she doesn't get any appreciation from her husband, she thinks she has wasted her life.It pushes her to prioritize her work not her role as a homemaker, which is destroying for the whole family unit. I believe that early 10,15 yrs of her married life, she should be devoted to her home only because this is the time when she lays foundation for the good brought up and success of her children and the professional success of her husband. Once all her children are born and gone to school, and she has some extra time on her hands, she can start her professional life as well if she is interested in it. She can start from small projects, part time job or studies and gradually grow. Meanwhile, her kids are grown up and independent and she has more time for her career. This is the best approach in our society where men work day and night but don't contribute in the house chores and raising of the kids. But if both want to work right from the beginning of their marriage, then both should spend time at home and with kids.The bottom line is family should be the priority; the peace of home and children's need and brought up should not be neglected.And women should be encouraged and appreciated in this direction. However, they should know that they have to keep themselves up-to-date by educating themselves through media, their social interactions and learning basic skills like using a cell, computer, language, etc. as their hobby that will prevent them from the generation gap between them and their kids. Also, the informal learning approach will help them to have an intellectual chemistry with their husbands.But once her kids are grown to teenagers,she can have better working and educational opportunities in life. At that moment, she will find her children her support, helping hands and even best friends. But if she does something on the cost of her kids when they were very young and dependent on her, she will has to pay the price and regret. So, it's not a good deal.
- At 11:03:00 PM, said...
Also, I believe that when children are grown up, a women must start and have a life of her own in the form of further studies, job, business, volunteer work or so, because it is very important for the mental, emotional, physical and financial health of her. Moreover, this way she earns more respect in her kids, husband, family and society.
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