According to a recent study conducted by International Labor Organization, 41% of Indian women want to stay at home. Only 30% of want paid jobs and 22% want both. Looking at these statistics, one would infer that Indian women are wasting their skills by not contributing to the workforce. But one must keep in mind the societal conditions that cage women post-marriage and make it difficult for them to continue working.
SheThePeople.Tv spoke to homemakers from different walks of life to know the various reasons that thwart them from continuing to work.
Lack of cooperation from family members
Neelam Goel, a homemaker based in Delhi, believes that marriage and work can never go hand in hand.
“Working post-marriage is possible only when the family members are cooperative. I used to work initially but then I was also asked to do the household chores. I had started losing my peace of mind. For obvious reasons, I can’t refuse household work. I had to quit my job. Since then, I have been a homemaker.”
Can’t Leave Kids Alone
Karishma Verma would see mothers of her friends going out for work. She would often persuade her mother to do the same.”I hated the fact that my mother sat at home. She was a highly-educated lady. But she didn’t work because ours was a nuclear family. She couldn’t risk our safety by trusting someone with our responsibility. Though she doesn’t have any regrets about that, somewhere deep down I still feel her education took a backseat because of us.”
Didn’t feel the need
Sheetal Malhotra, a mother of two school-going children, is content with her homemaker status and she wouldn’t change it until circumstances force her to.
“Isn’t parenting a full-time job? Taking care of the kids, ensuring their well-being, bringing them up with strong values. I am not promoting gender roles but in my case, I choose to place my family before anything else.”
Unequal pay between men and women, unsafe work environments, long working hours are some of the other reasons why women choose to stay at home.
What’s the way out?
According to me, homemakers can make the best use of technology to balance their lives. A lot of housewives have started working from homes. This encourages them to make productive use of their education without compromising on their domestic responsibilities. I know many women who have started teaching online from the comfort of their homes.
With required knowledge and skills, women can avail of a lot of opportunities that this digital era offers.
Image credits: Bankrate.com