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Managing work and home – is the Indian working woman getting a fair deal?
“I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress its women have achieved” – Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Women are the prime creators and primogenitors of the institution of the family, having bestowed by god the power to beget offspring. For this reason, the position of the mother figure in the Indian cultural sphere is a very strong one and obtains a lot of respect. Although , the tide has shifted in recent times, with more and more women taking up gainful employment outside the confines of the home.
As a society we have come a long way from the days when presence of women in so called male professions was looked at with amazement , surprise and at most times with disgust.Today, general perception is that India provides its daughters equal opportunities as envisaged by the Constitution of India. But this is a mirage we are looking at. The reality is, unfortunately very different from what we perceive. According to a survey only 13% of Indian women are working. And among them 9 out of 10 women work in unorganised sector.
Indian women don’t have enough avenues to realise their full potential because of the excessive male chauvinism ingrained in the Indian society.Even if they get a chance to work they are restricted to jobs which are perceived to be better suited to them. They are paid lesser salaries especially in unorganised sector where majority of them are employed. For instance there is a huge difference in the wages paid to a female worker and a male labourer in the field of construction.
In organised sector women face multitude of difficulties in the form of harassment, exploitation, lecherous glances of their male counterparts, lesser pay etc. Though we have accepted women in the workplace but not in our minds as an equally capable individual. The mindsets need to change if we are to give women their due position in the society.
There are places where women have even out performed men. The Indian woman of today has come along way from the subjugated homemaker of yesteryears. These women have bravely taken up the responsibility of developing the nation, creating enterprises and contributing to the professional workforce. And all this has been done without shunning their traditional garb of ‘the homemaker’.
But is the reality for these women as nice as it looks? Have they got their fair share of recognition and support? The sad reality is – our society has encouraged women to enter into professional spheres and yet assumed a regressive chauvinistic outlook towards them. Our society has failed in giving a fair deal to these women from all perspectives. This hypocrisy has manifested itself in the form of the various challenges women face while they toil to effectively manage work and home together.
To conclude it can be stated that Indian women are overburdened , unappreciated and slog it out for hours without due credit. Indian working women is highly underpaid and does not get a fair deal in both personal and professional life.