northern lights

northern lights

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Travails of a working woman

The travails of a working woman
 If  you happen to talk  to a working woman  seeking her opinion about  a working woman v/s  housewife, you will  realise  that  most of the  WW (working women)  prefer to be a house wife and that they are working  to supplement the family income. They will state  that  they  work at the cost of their children as well  as their house. Some may not openly proclaim   about  their  problems  but  they know in their heart of hearts that they are   working more out of  compulsion than choice.  On the other hand the same question  if directed towards   housewives (HW) will elicit  an answer which will  leave you flabbergasted.  They feel that they are inferior to WW. This is an eternal question,which will forever persist.
            If we take an objective view, there are good points and not so good points  as far as WW and HW are concerned. Let us try to analyse  both  issues. There is a saying that  a house is a home only  if the lady of the house gives her full time attention to the persons living inside it. Can the WW  devote as much time to  the house?  A very big advantage  for the  HW  is  that she  has all the time in the world  to spend  with her children. And  the  most important factor which  contributes to   the  mental, physical and psychological development of the children  is the presence of the mother in the house. Generally we find that HW  don’t take pride in being a HW.They have a sort of complex that they are inferior to WW. This sort of thinking  affects the health of the family.
     The  WW contributes to the family  budget. This contribution is   no doubt a very moot point in their favour. The WW today stands  confidently even in spheres which were considered as mens’  domain previously. Women work as Pilots,  Engineers, Police officers, and in   many other high profile  situations.  In our country  we have had a lady Prime Minister, President, Chief ministers and in  other high positions.  Even in rural areas women are stepping out of their homes to work as Village Pradhans,  We find women taking important  roles in diplomatic parties.  They smoke and even  drink  without any compunction.  BUT, it is a very big BUT whatever the position  the women may hold , they are essentially Housewives  or  Home Makers.  They too have  families , have responsibilities and   domestic  commitments.
 If we look at the lives of women working in  not  very high positions are  to be pitied upon. They work in offices but thoroughly burdened by household  problems .Most of them are  physically present in the work place but their  mind is  elsewhere. The condition of many such women becomes more pitiable  because they  do not enjoy the fruits of their  hard labour. The full salary that they take home is taken away by  their husbands/ parents/ in-laws. They  cannot do justice  neither to home  nor to  the work place.  I knew a very sincere and hardworking lady burdened by  her unfavourable  domestic  life   confessing her  hardships to me. When she got a promotion  she begged that her  husband should not get  an inkling of the raise in salary(which she wanted to save)
Most of the working women are burdened  by the unavailability of domestic servants. Even though they are willing to spend beyond their means , it is very difficult to get good servants.  Part time maids , if one is fortunate to get , have their own conditions. They demand a weekly day off  and if they absent themselves without any prior information , they think  that  it is their birthright and cannot be questioned. We had a maid who used to tie a rope  to the tricycle  of my grand daughter, and go off to sleep and the poor child , also tied to  her tricycle  was per force made a prisoner. She used to eat the child’s food and proclaim that the baby is very co operative. The secret was out only  when the child ,in her lisping  words told all this to  her grand father.
The plight of working women thus becomes  pitiable. I conclude with a quotation  from the "Image" by Pauline Reage, " the divine object violated, endlessly sacrificed yet always reborn, whose only joy is achieved through a subtle  interplay of images..."


  1. I have seen the both sides, I have worked in corporate world for good seven years before giving it up to focus my total energies on my daughter and home. I have never regretted my decision and much better as a homemaker. Atleast I have only one front to cater too. And added advantage of spending time on myself, which was luxury I couldn't afford when I was working.

  2. You are very correct Meenakshi,that a working woman has no time for herself.Even I have seen both sides and I am all for being a home maker.

  3. Quite,but one can't take away the fact that women today are getting more educated,professional and .......righty so,ambitious.
    Why does no one ever discuss reasons for men men not sharing home burden with women if both are working?

  4. Thanks for your comments. I have restricted myself on the fact that a woman is a house maker first and last.Regarding Men sharing in household jobs when both are working ,is another issue. I feel a working woman's husband generally shares his wife's burden. My husband and the children contributed in minimising the burden. I will write another blog on this aspect. Thanks for giving me a topic to write.

  5. Oh, you made this homemaker very very happy, Usha!! But, I have seen my Mom who was working (with the Ministry of Home Affairs) handling both home and work so incredibly.
    I guess. at the end of the day, if one is able to balance home and outside home ....(personally and professionally)--one should be able to manage!
    Great post, usha.

    1. Thanks a lot Panchali. I always look forward for your comments. I too,was a working woman for 36 years.I feel i managed my home as well as my profession without any hastles. After my retirement I realized how much a house needs a house maker.

  6. Nicely pointed out the plight of a working are correct, most of the women cannot enjoy their life at the fullest.If possible pl. read 'A Teacher's Day in and out'one of my initial posts.

  7. Thank you Pragaya .A working woman has to face problems at two fronts, which sometimes becomes strenuous. I read your poem on the role of teachers. I liked it very much. BTW are you in the Teaching profession?