Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Working women's dilemma

Working women's dilemma
Balancing career and family: working women's dilemma
The Working Mother's Dilemma

Japanese Working Women's Dilemma;
Working parents dilemma -

 The new generation of women have come a long way! From just a skilled homemaker women today have acquired skills and capabilities of not just being a homemaker but being at par with their male counterparts., who wants to pursue their dream career. But this life is not a bed of roses for all.

More conflict arises with the working mother. One has to fulfil the demand at work followed by various demands at home. In today’s scenario the husband and wife both work towards creating a balance with their work life as well as at home with their children. But it is still difficult for women as she has to play multiple roles of a cook, a family maid, a tutor, a nurse as well as cater to the demands of office work. This can leave a working woman stressed and anxious; more so if the family is not supportive. “My office is quite far from my home. By the time I get home my husband takes care of my children’s studies and sometimes also prepares food. He gets time as his office is nearby and he reaches home early. If it was not for his support I would have left my job long time back”, says a working professional.

“With equal pay comes equal responsibilities”, says a training professional and a counsellor. “There are a lot of dilemmas that a working woman has to go through. Glass ceiling effect- asking personal questions during an interview about family and marriage, biases for promotions, sexual harassment, lack of flexible working hours, lack of women mentors and bosses in organizations are just to name a few. And even at home a woman has to look after the child no matter how supportive her family or husband is. It is the woman who is blamed if the child does not perform well in school. A working mother is also always eager to get back home as soon as possible- so there are problems of late sittings in office. There is always a guilt factor as it is tough for women to pursue their career dreams. Sometimes women do take the advantage of being the fairer sex and want equal pay; don’t want late sittings because of family problems but then they should also not crib about not getting promoted fast enough. You need to compromise somewhere”, she advices.

Amongst all this it is also extremely important for the woman to take care of her health as she is more susceptible to illness due to stress and age factors. It is not a rosy picture but it is not that bad a scenario. Despite all the dilemmas and challenges women still find a way to pursue their dreams and dual working couples enjoy their chosen lifestyle.

The financial demands on the Indian families are becoming fiercer by day. The sky rocketing cost of living, increasing expenses on education of children, increasing cost of housing properties in India force every family in India to look for ways and means of increasing the household income. As a result, women in India who were mostly known as homemakers are forced to go for jobs and take up even careers that were considered only suitable for men such as working in night shifts in call centers or BPOs. They are left with no option but to fend for their families in all possible ways.

Working women in India are faced with lot more challenges than their counterparts in the other parts of the world. In India men do not share on most of the household chores, it is women who have to cook, clean the house, do the dishes, wash clothes, get their children ready for school etc. Men just took care of few chores that are to be dealt outside the house. So the major burden of running the family is on the shoulders of women. It was alright for women to handle all the chores as long as they were homemakers. Now with their increasing need for getting some income for the family, they have to work all the more harder. They have to take up a 9 to 5 job plus handle all the household chores that they handled as a homemaker. Men’s role has not changed much.

Women have started sleeping lesser than before because only when they wake up early they can cook for the family, get themselves ready for the job, get their children ready for the schools, so on an average, women lost 2 hours of sleep per day and up to 14 hours sleep per week.

If they happened to work in a highly pressurized environment, then they will bring home their work and that cuts few more hours of sleep. It is not just about the reduced sleep, but such a lifestyle builds stress. This stress is passed on to the family and frustration level builds up in the family. This leads to relationship problems.

They have to handle harassment's at their work place, sometimes just over look things to ensure that their job is not jeopardized in anyway. Many Indian families are still living as joint families along with the parents and in-laws. This adds to their stress further because they have to please all the family members of her husband. Listen to their complaints that they make against her and turn deaf ears towards them and so on. Overall, majority of women in India look towards or live in the hope that things will change. Some of us have given up that hope and learnt to accept that nothing can be done about it. India has a long way to go before our women will be able to live their lives to the full.


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