What comes to your mind when you first hear the word “housewife”?
Let me guess! Your answer must be:
A woman who does “odd”, “routine” and “mundane” jobs. To be more precise, a woman who is a good-for-nothing. Or hey, do you get reminded of phrases like “Hot Indian Housewife”? (Let’s just not get into that)
Certainly, jobs like taking care of her children and the entire household which indirectly depends on her, in order to function properly, cannot be considered as something worthwhile. After all, who gives a damn about dish-washing and the daily laundry? The reason behind this is, what she considers as “work” is not paid for by anyone. And thus, what she considers as “work” does not qualify in strict terms, for it to be labeled as an economic activity. Since the world in which we reside, has become entirely materialistic today (or maybe it was so right from the beginning), it pays heed to only those, who directly influence or contribute to the national economy.
But hold on! Does that mean housewives don’t deserve any respect for the work they do? Has it ever occurred to you how your family runs so smoothly with everything being taken care of? Of course, I am not saying that there aren’t any exceptions. But, needless to say, today in most of the Indian families, the scenario is much the same. A man takes his wife for granted as he is the sole breadwinner of his family and hence the only ‘head’ or rather the only person, who gets to have any say in all important matters concerning the family. The wife’s opinion is mercilessly suppressed and disrespected and her feelings, least cared about. Why should it be so? Unpaid work should never be disrespected. If she receives the minimum recognition and appreciation for the effort she puts into her housework, she will certainly have nothing to complain about. Because don’t forget:
A Housewife is as much an important part of our nation as a working man.
On the other hand, there lies a different problem with the idea of “working women” as well. Take the recent “ textbook controversy” for instance. For the last couple of days, The Chattisgarh Board of Secondary Education has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Had it not been for Soumya Garg, a 24 year old teacher who moved to the State Women’s Commission, questioning the content of the social science textbook prescribed by the Chattisgarh Board of Secondary Education, the young minds of Chattisgarh would have to take the pain of grasping this illogical point:
“Working women are one of the causes of unemployment”.
Could the words of the author of a class 10 Social Science textbook be more saddening than this? And to top it all, what is even more saddening is the board’s approval for such ridiculously baseless content.
The author has taken it for granted that all the rising issues of the country such as unemployment, poverty, unequal wealth distribution are only concerned with MEN. Who knows? Probably his teacher might have taught him that our national population consists of MEN only. After all, it is all about the education that we receive.
The point is, who should decide whether a woman should work or not? Is it not her fundamental right to choose what she wants to be? And when she finally decides whether she wants to be a working woman or a housewife, the society all of a sudden, becomes judgmental. It’s high time that one should start changing his mindset and stop acting like ancient men in the so called, modern world.