PROBLEMS OF WORKING WOMEN
The term ‘Liberated Woman’ has become a fashion today. The term chiefly implies a woman who is independent economically. For other things, at least in India, a woman still needs the anchor of a husband and a family. She cannot be liberated in matters of marriage, family, sex or other things. Otherwise she would be called a loose woman or a slut. When we consider the problems of a working woman in our society, her domestic life comes to mind immediately. What is a modern working woman like?
A working woman today belongs to the middle or the lower middle class of society. Women in the higher echelons of society need not work for a living. If they do work, they do it only due to personal interest. Even otherwise, they do not lead much of a domestic life: household chores are relatively unknown to them. A middle or lower middle class working women is not at all a liberated woman. In fact, she has to keep struggling to sail in two boats at the same time. She has to work in an office or in an organization full-time. Often she is sniggered at; people make passes at her and criticize her work simply because she happens to be a woman. How so ever hard-working and conscientious she might be in her work, there are people ready to pounce upon her and find faults with her in order to harass her if she does not submit to their advances. And the poor woman cannot even report against these people for fear of losing her job or of her reputation. She, indeed, has to keep walking on a razor’s edge all the time.
Her domestic life is also tedious. She does not get any reprieve from household work because of her regular office job. She has to get up early in the morning to finish her house hold chores, get the children ready for school, prepare breakfast and lunch for her husband and school going children, clean the house and perform several other house hold chores before she is ready to leave for her office. The western concept of a husband helping his wife in domestic work because she is a working woman has not taken deep roots in this country yet. When she comes back dog tired in the evening, the working woman has to look after the needs of her children and husband, prepare dinner, look after guests and try to look pleasant all the time. Nobody bothers to find out if she is ailing or in a foul mood. Everyone wants his or her requirements to be met. Nobody shows any consideration for the poor working woman. That is, by and large, the plight of an ordinary working woman in our society today. She is sandwiched between the two worlds, both of which expect the best out of her. She is reduced to a virtual robot, trying to perform her functions and duties to the best or her abilities. Woe betides her if she falters even once or strays from the set path.
A working woman finds it difficult to lead a blissful domestic life. There are families where the husband and wife do all the work together. But in majority of the families it is not so. It is time we gave some attention to the poor, harassed working woman who also bears the burden of domesticity. It lies with her husband and her family to help lighten her burden and assist her in leading a normal, happy life.