Tuesday 8 March 2022

On International Women’s day, Let’s Talk About Common Indian Woman and their Quest for Equality

One question that has always haunted me is that traditionally in India why parenting is considered only a mom’s job and dad is only suppose to suffice the financial needs of the household. Why when it comes to taking care of their kid, the woman is the obvious choice for giving up her career or managing the kid as well as her job? Life long too she has the primary responsibility of how the kid turns out into. Why she willingly sacrifices her dream job, gently accepting she can resume later? 

I had always topped in my class not by any luck or fluke but by sheer hard-work and focus towards my goals. The first company that came for campus, Tata Motors, picked me up. I was fiercely ambitious and always thought come what may I will be this aggressive corporate woman leading from the front. I switched to Honda Cars and then Ikea if Sweden in a span of ten years and did exceptionally well if I may say so. Nothing changed my resolve even when I accidentally conceived. I had the Stainless Business of Ikea in India under my toe and a week after my delivery I had started work from home resuming work once my baby was 3 months. Then what happened that I quit my dream job when my kid turned two having crossed the most difficult period already. It was something  that shook the mom in me and made all other roles take back seat. I lost faith in humanity when the elderly lady who took care of my son stole our belongings and perished. With no support system, one of us had to take the backseat in our careers and it was me. Not that I was forced but that’s what was perhaps ingrained in me as an Indian Woman. I was hell bent to build something for myself elsewhere and I did but my questions to the society, to ourselves remain the same as above, as we celebrate international women’s day today. Was I right in giving up my dream job?

The very fact that we need a day to celebrate a woman creates some kind of bias between the two genders which has never gone down my throat very well. To me every day is women’s day and every day is men’s day, let us all raise a toast to our equality the day we can remotely achieve it. 

Anyways, in this series for a cause I am cheering for the inspirational common women of India and since today we are talking about how there are certain unsaid rules in the society which still pull us back. On women’s day we must try and cushion women to feel more relaxed and not feel pressurised by these unsaid rules. This true story is about Advika, a smart juggler mommy who married a man she was not in love with because the one she was in love with, refused. She is a hospitality industry professional who aced sales and marketing of a leading wellness company for a decade. She and her husband were poles apart and lived together in some kind of arrangement only those two understood and was not evident to the world. Well, they knew the art of faking. Advika purposely kept her professional life above personal as driving numbers gave her a different kind of high. 

Motherhood happened twice in her life but the second time she could not uphold her sales and marketing job which sucked the life out of her at the cost of both her children. She decided to pursue higher education and change her stream so that she could devote more time to her children and focus on their right growth. Sitting at home was not her cup of tea but then starting afresh in late thirties isn’t easy either and to a large extent this decision of hers backfired. In the new field her earlier experience was counted zero and she was reluctantly being offered a fresher’s role that too with less than half of her earlier salary.

Why no one expected the dad to step down or restructure his career to accommodate family priorities, again because, that is how it is perhaps ingrained in us. I am not here to blame anyone for this but definitely desiring a positive change. 

We women should be the first one to stand for ourselves and say none of us (spouses) should sacrifice, instead let’s both share the parenting load equally. 

We women need to stand up for ourselves and be our own cheerleader. 

We have to stop pulling down other women or keep cribbing about patriarchy. 

Not only on International Women’s Day, we must remind ourselves of being an equal individual every single day and stop wearing the sacrifice cape ourselves or under any one else’s influence. 

We know what is best for us, pursue it unapologetically, seek help if you need but never ever give up. 

Truly Yours Roma

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