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Social and political Values and Systems in India.

Plight of homemakers/housewives


All over the world, a woman in her traditional role as a homemaker/ housewife happens to be the most neglected person in modern society. Degree of negligence differs at different places and is ingrained in mindset of its people, laws, history, customs and cultures of different societies.

As a woman, she faces many transitions in one life, almost every tenth year brings a major change in her life. With each transition, she needs full support, care and love of her near and dear ones – in her childhood of her parents and close relations, in her youth of her spouse, in her old age of her sons and daughters. But what does she get? It is usually apathy of people concerned, at every stage of her life. Discrimination against her starts much before she is born- in the form of feticide and continues till her last breadth.

There can be three categories in women’s world :-

   i That of home makers/housewives

   ii That of career women;

   iii Opting for both – career and family life.

Willingly or unwillingly, a homemaker is still put under many social, economic, legal and religious restrictions. Till very recently, she was confined within four walls of her homes, cut off from all communications with outside world and kept away from mainstream. Since she does not earn money directly, her position in family is belittled. Economically she always remains dependent on man. Society considers her a big burden/liability throughout either on father or husband or sons. Quite often, she is made fun for wasting her time in gossiping and quarrelling with each other or cooking and doing other thankless/boring household jobs.

Nobody in family or society realises, at what cost, a homemaker performs her familial and social liabilities, as a daughter/wife or as a mother. Running a house and rearing up children are by no means easy tasks and are very tedious and repetitive in nature, but not at all thankless jobs. The invisible, unlimited unpaid and indirect contribution of homemakers to the nation/society/family is either taken for granted or remains undervalued. None recognises it as a fulfilling and respected job.

A homemaker, too, has to face many difficulties and make many sacrifices for providing sound management at home, doing multi faceted jobs like house-keeping, accounting, counselling, commuting, nursing, taking care of elders in the family, rearing up children, educating them, inculcating good values in them, etc. etc. It requires lots of patience, tolerance and sense of responsibility. By managing all family affairs, she keeps all members of family – be it old, young or children – happy, secure, confident, comfortable and happy. She generates in each and every member of family a feeling of being wanted and loved. She promotes a sense of interdependence amongst them. She provides to her husband tension-free atmosphere, enough time, energy and purpose to pursue/progress in his career, to develop his personality in full and prosper in life. To elders she provides a desirable shelter and comfort. She not only manages house but is in true sense, a trainer of a child from its infancy.

Society owes a lot to stay-at-home mothers, because they rear, nurture and guide growth of children, develop their characters and mould them into confident and civilized young persons. If due to any reason, a mother is unable to take proper care of her children, they develop some complex/deficiency or feeling of insecurity. To a great extent, a women is responsible for all round development of younger generation. In performing this task, it is her love, that plays decisive role and distinguishes her from other institutions. Somewhere directly and elsewhere indirectly, a woman as a homemaker provides a sound foundation for well-knitted family, stable society and for development of a nation by giving it confident, encouraged and responsible young citizens. In return, what she gets is only lip service and apathy of everybody. Such an attitude either shakes her confidence or acts as a disincentive. The whole atmosphere has become so suffocating for a modern home-maker, that she herself has started considering management of house a thankless job and wishes to join the mainstream and earn directly.

Efforts have been done to empower and improve her position in society. Many laws have been enacted to eradicate social evils effecting her adversely. However, quite often, they remain ineffective on account of lack of political will, general awareness in masses, judicial insensitivity and bureaucratic apathy. Law enforcement agencies are neither very strong nor effective to fight against vested interests of powerful lobbies. In most cases, women themselves do not claim their legal rights out of love and affection for their own people or to save honour of their families. Net result is that they are deprived of their rightful place within their families, society or nation.

Now, when she does not want to stay back at home, results are there for everybody to see. Familial bonds are gradually breaking down. Everybody within a family usually remains under many stresses and strains all the time. With both the couple being busy in earning money now a days, nobody finds enough time for anybody else in the family. Except for a few exceptions, concepts of “family” and “home, sweet home” have gone with the wind. This centuries old institution, which has provided emotional support to all is no longer remained a cushion either for husband, children, elders or sick.

For bringing in changes in society’s attitude and making family once again a lovable institution, it is necessary to acknowledge that both man and woman are equally important and responsible – their roles within family being complementary and not competitive. She herself will have to make efforts for her true empowerment and well-being – be it physical, emotional or spiritual by becoming an ‘enlightened woman’. She has to make herself capable of taking her own decisions rationally without fear or favour and without being swayed away by whims/fancies or emotions.


October 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments


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