THE 21st CENTURY WOMAN

By Pauline Ruby

(27/08/2020 18:00 IST)

“I am a working woman with a secret life: I keep house”

-Cheryl Mendelson

What is actually the 21st century? It is the current era that we are living in. The special part about this century is that people are developing as time grows, one keeps themselves reforming and updated. Due to this development, luckily women got their partial freedom. Yet, difficult to live in a world where men rule the world.

With the industrial revolution, we have accomplished the goal half way through, to work but, by default, we women are the ones who are held liable for the household tasks as well, yet without whining, women do every job with poise and still manage to be gorgeous. Astonishing right? Superpower indeed! The earliest time a woman stepped out was during the World Wars, since their husbands left for the war, they had to step out to keep the local economy functioning as well as to feed the family.

Since then, women have been managing both house and work with ease and grace. Indian culture firmly believes in “MAA KA PYAAR & MAA KA KHANA” can never be replaced. True right? The same woman who loves her family unconditionally is the one who stands strong with indomitable spirit at her work place, however women are still combating the battle of equality currently as they have an added problem to face the harassment as well. After facing all odds, one must still think of the family and the needs that are to be met. And while discussing the issues of and concerns about working women, the main emphasis should be on the “opportunities for women”, as it is of utmost importance, there are still jobs around the world where women are not legally allowed to work. For instance: distributing published materials, in Madagascar (country in east Africa) women aren’t really allowed to distribute literature, or posters or other published materials due to moral code doing so will be a punishable offense. Now why it’s essential to understand the agony of a woman? Here are some underlying causes to understand the fact better;

First and foremost, ACCEPTANCE to work after marriage – it’s still a big question mark for many spinsters, if they would be allowed to work after marriage. Most of the Indian family still expect their daughter- in- law to be a home maker after her successful completion of education.

After fighting the battle to work, TRAVELLING for work is a big NO. One is accountable to answer all the awkward questions being asked, by her family, friends and society. Yet ended up being alleged. Moreover, the big question of society “Who will manage the house, if the women of house are out working!? “

LATE NIGHT works are pitied upon when men do, but if a woman is working late night, her character is questioned upon. And also called some derogatory words.

After combating all issues, women fight for EQUAL PAY, it is still one of the raging topics of argument even in the context of working women in the 21st century. However, gender discrimination is still prevalent in many companies. Despite of facing all odds, flourishing women are not SAFE at her work place. Women are targeted to fulfil the lewd intentions of their chauvinist male colleagues. Crime against women has been a bane of India's development efforts. With arcane customs like sex being a taboo in India, Sati, and dowry, and the overall lower status of women further exacerbates these crimes.

From the last decade's crime statistics, we see sharp number of crimes registered under ‘Cruelty by Husband and his Relatives’. It also appears that the same category has had the most dramatic rise over the years. Thanks to Women’s Commissions for helping out to teach a lesson to these predators. Although the legal response is a useful deterrent against such heinous crimes, women continue to suffer due to deeply rooted social prejudices that make them vulnerable to violence and discrimination in society.

Now at the end of the day, while returning to home one must have a BALANCED WORK-FAMILY LIFE, no matter how flourishing career one has, women in India are still viewed as the one who manages the house. They are expected to return home on time and, cook, clean, take care of children, other errands so on and so forth. Despite all the hard toil done at home, still women are tagged as “Selfish for making up her career and not taking proper care of the family”. In fact, the men who help at home are often mocked by the as they question the masculinity of the person and make fun at functions and at several social gatherings.

Indian society needs to understand equality doesn’t mean letting women work or giving voting rights, it’s respecting the women who work and manage the house without fretting and fuming and letting men to help without being a laughingstock. We must not undermine anyone’s capacity because of their gender. Empowering women in jobs and businesses is a crucial step towards gender equality. Let’s give women a chance just not to venture out of their homes but actually achieve their potential. I affirm that this would be the resonating voice of the women-folk of our Indian society.

“I RAISE UP MY VOICE NOT SO I CAN SHOUT BUT SO THAT THOSE WITHOUT VOICE CAN BE HEARD”

-Malala Yousafzai

About Authors.

Pauline Ruby

Desk Editor

References.

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