|By Charmaine Albuquerque, India [ Published Date: May 27, 2005 ]|
Shocked? Confused? Well this is exactly what I felt when I read an article about whether expatriate women should be working in the Gulf.
Shocked – that in today’s world we are still thinking in these terms; and
Confused – that the implication is that if a woman is based anywhere else in the world, then it is fine to work.
By thinking in these terms we are forgetting a couple of things. Firstly, that even a woman is a normal human being and secondly being human she has an identity as well as needs of her own. Let's face it-women of today are 'two faced' i.e. they are homemakers as well as employers/ employees. By questioning her decision to work (if she chooses to work), we are questioning her existence, her identity.
Does it mean that just by virtue of being a woman, she will always be someone’s daughter, someone's wife, someone's mother? What happens to her dreams, her ambitions and more importantly her God given worth and talent? It is these negative attitudes that we have, that make India a shameful pot of female infanticide, widow harassment, you name it…….
My Catholic friends (enemies included) would be aware of the parable of the Master who gave his servants 7 talents and asked them to go ahead and increase them. Are we going to be supporters to those who want to increase their talents or the ones who just let them rot and stagnate? Women who work do so not only for the financial aspect but to broaden and grow their horizons.
....Does it mean that just by virtue of being a woman, she will always be someone’s daughter, someone's wife, someone's mother?....
In an ideal form, a marriage is a partnership and not a sole trading business. It is a joint venture where assets should be used to offset liabilities and achieve a dream balance sheet of life. Being a joint venture, why is the onus of bringing up a child always with the mother? How many fathers out there can truly remember their child’s first word or first step, forget having changed nappies! That is how involved a husband can be even though his woman may share in his financial burden. He only behaves as a 'sleeping' partner (pun intended).
The problem therefore is not with the ‘working wife’ working but with our role as parents. Today despite having the convenience of maids and gadgets which give us a lot of spare time (workaholics and 'kursi' chasers excluded), how much time do we spend with our children? Instead we sit in front of the television, the computer or are busy clubbing.
Mothers in my family and my husbands' have all worked. Does it mean that we their children turned out anti-social, due to the absence of our mothers at home? If you show me a family where children are spoilt because of a working mother, I’ll show you ten others where the mother has been a housewife! We spoil our children by giving them Pepsi when they ask for water and KFC when they ask for ‘roti’. We provide them materialistic comforts to make good our lacking love. We need to be clubbed on the head!
Only then will better sense prevail we will act as responsible role models.
Only then will we see more women as part of the workforce.