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Role of Women in 21st century

“We plays many roles in our lives; if they get mixed up, it becomes dark; like when you mix all colors. Play each role distinctively side by side, like the colors displayed side by side form rainbow.” Sri Sri Ravi Shanker.

 “Women are, in every way that matters, superior to men and moreover, that this superiority is finally becoming evident in our societies.” Dr. Konner

Women superior to men – Dr. Konner, a professor in anthropology at Emory University, says in his book, “Women After All” that “Women are, in every way that matters, superior to men and moreover, that this superiority is finally becoming evident in our societies.” In making this argument, he ranges from evolutionary biology, through ethology, neurobiology, embryology, anthropology and history, with digressions into economics and politics.”

“They live longer, have lower mortality at all ages, are more resistant to most categories of disease and are less likely to suffer from brain disorders that lead to disruptive and even destructive behavior. And of course most fundamentally they are capable of producing new life from their own bodies, a stressful, and costly burden in biological terms, to which men literally add only the tiniest biological contribution – and one that in the not-too-distant future could probably be done without.” In addition, women’s superiority in judgement, their trustworthiness, reliability, fairness working and playing well with others relative freedom from distracting sexual impulses and lower levels of prejudice, bigotry and violence make them biologically superior. (The wall street journal, March 28-29, 2015)

Already broken glass ceilings – There is no doubt that 21st century women have already broken all glass-ceilings, moved forward and joined ‘man’ in all kinds of nation-building activities – be it social, political, economic, technical or professional. They work shoulder-to-shoulder with men, and are second to none in any sphere of work, be it industry, politics, social works and social reforms, administration, business, civil services, or in army, which are far away from her traditional role of a home-maker. They have proved their worth in all spheres.

 Despite all that, it is quite natural for women to enter into family life along with the opposite sex – men, where their role is complementary and not competitive. Together they raise a family, take care of future generation and prepare them to face the challenges in life.

Women’s Issues – If so, then where is the problem?  Many liberated females with negative mind-set think that they have to teach males a lesson, prove their worth in those areas as well, which were earlier regarded as man’s domain, show their superiority and make men understand women’s contribution to society.  Women desire to go ahead of men everywhere and dictate their own terms all the time.

Then, balancing career with familial responsibilities has always been a tough job and a very crucial issue in women’s life. Earlier in 20th and before, the main issues of women were of physical strain, constant psychological pressures to conform to socially induced images of femininity – to be a good wife, perfect mother, efficient home-maker. Their concerns revolved around issues like dowry, domestic violence, rape, equal opportunities and equal pay etc.

 Keeping balance in femininity and ambitions – After info-tech revolution of 1970’s, technological advancements have changed the role of women to a great extent. Along with it, changed her perspective, ambitions and equations with others. Economic independence has made women stronger, more confident and more vocal. Now they are aware and well-informed about their needs, problems and solutions.

For a woman, generally both family and career are equally important now. In order to maintain a fine balance between femininity and her ambitions, at every stage of life, she has to face many challenges and many a times it becomes difficult to do justice with the both – her familial liabilities and responsibilities at work place.  She needs to set priorities rationally after analyzing what is more important ‘right now’. She has to make many compromises. Most of women have to make compromises at home front.

Women in India

Immediately after independence, in 1950′s, free young India embodied a liberal and inclusive vision of India. People understood and interpreted liberally the problems of caste, gender, community, rural-urban areas, meaning of social-economic-legal justice and attempted to resolve the issues rationally.

The years during 1950′s and 60′s were the times of social and political turmoil. Society was in general conservative, attitude hardly rebellion against social norms, talks being all about sacrifice. However Gender bias started vanishing. 1970′s and 80′s was the period of transition, when though people were still family and society-oriented, rebellion attitude started. The government and society put emphasis on women’s education. The number of educated women in urban areas gradually increased. A new wave swept across the woman’s world – many young women joined the workforce becoming students, teachers, administrators or activists in different social movements. They achieved success in various fields.

Women acquired more education, economic and social power on their own without craving for any concession unlike other so-called weaker sections of society like SCs, STs or OBCs. In 1990′s, rebellion attitude became dominant. Family and society were considered major obstacles on the way to progress. In matter of employment, it is not so difficult for women to get employment/jobs, as it was earlier. Women were placed more or less on equal footing with men.

 Movement of ‘Women-lib’ – With economic independence of women, gender relationships and norms have undergone a sea-change because of changed socio-economic atmosphere and a change in expectations. It has ironically increased conflicts. The pressures on men has increased. A drastic transition has taken place in the roles of both males and females within family. Men tried to share with women the work of rearing up infants and toddlers as well as doing other household chores.  Also his say in family matters is diminishing. Usually voice of the lady of the house prevails, men finds himself in a helpless position.

“Who wears the pants in the family”? – Now a days, women plays a major role within a family, assume almost all the rights to take all major decisions and to dictate her own terms. She does whatever she wants to do and enjoys life in her own way. There is no denial to the fact that full freedom should be given to women to make her own decisions and to lead her life the way she wants. But it should be done in a  decent, balanced and civilized manner by exercising some amount of self-control and self-discipline, so that her actions does not adversely affect the feelings or living of other family-members.

Mindset of present generation’s young women – For many modern young women nothing, but ‘self’ matters in life. As movement of women’s lib along with the ideas like “I will do what I want”, “I do not care for anybody” has gained momentum, They pay more attention to grab more power, earn more money and further their careers at any cost. In some cases, they desire to set themselves free from all bondage of kinship. Some of them prefer to go far away from their native place to enjoy more freedom and settle down in unknown places or in foreign lands, to free themselves from any kind of social pressure, lead their life, the way they want, get total control over activities of their spouses and enforce on everybody in the family their own dictates/rules.

“Men from Mars, women from Venus?” – Thinking, working style, personal qualifications and abilities and sense of responsibility differ from person to person. It does not necessarily depend on one’s ‘gender’. It is unfair to generalize attributes of men-women on gender ground. However, nature has created some things in such a way that it is difficult to ignore gender gap – in physique, mindset, style of working and attitudes of men and women. It is difficult for a woman, how-so-ever hard she tries to bring to an end those inherent dissimilarities bestowed by nature itself.

Usually men are by nature more rational/sensible, more focused, faster in taking decisions or actions, less reactive and considerate. They have more physical strength, energy and authority. It is difficult for a woman ignore the charm of his physical strength and his ability to provide her and her family security – as a husband, father or son. As far as women are concerned, they are more loving, more caring and more social and maintain harmonious relationship with people around them. They have understanding and capacity to think practically. They are more attractive. However, sometimes the confidence gap in females tend them to look up to their male counter-parts to boost up their morale.

Roles of men and women in family are complementary, not competitive – Healthy relationship between couples makes the world more colourful, comfortable and give each other purpose of life. It gives them incentive to work hard, move forward and make everybody happy within the family.  But when they work on impulses and emotions, life becomes difficult for the whole family, as it is practically impossible for an impulsive mind to think rationally.

Women wants from the society and its male-members –

  • Change in its perspective/mindset about women’s role,
  • Not to be treated as commodities,
  • Respect and love,
  • To feel their difficulties/hardships they face in their day-to-day life.
  • Help them to make this world a better place for future generation,
  • Women should not just be given importance for a day or two, but every day throughout the year.
  • She can walk fearlessly anywhere at any point of time. Incidents of violence – filicide, rape, human trafficking against women be controlled.

More than equality and independence, women like when males open doors and pull out a chair for them.

 Conclusion

“Michelle Obama’s” role played sensibly and positively as a career woman and homemaker is a classic example for all. Of the two Obamas, Michelle, wife of American President Obama  (America’s first African-American First Lady) has been more successful professionally, when studying in Harvard Law School, working as a lawyer, as an associate dean at the University of Chicago and eventually as a highly paid executive at the university hospital. As her husband’s career took off, she became a steading force behind her husband. Instead of becoming an intensely political first lady, she championed mostly non-political causes. When she makes the case of healthier school lunches, she sounds like a parent, not a politician. She seems to have made a point of keeping family routine intact despite the pressures if life in the White House. She has instructed her staff to avoid events after 5 p.m. so that she could have dinner with her daughters, just as she did with her own parents on South Euclid Avenue. (Quoted from The Wall Street Journal, 8.4.2015, P. A 11)

No one – man or woman – should try to impose one’s superiority on the other. Both should accept life as it comes, discipline their mind-sets to face together the challenges in life. As a couple, both husband and wife, the main pillars of the family life, are supposed to supplement each-others weaknesses and become a stronger unit to give required support to other dependent members of the family. Harmonious relationship between husband and wife makes life interesting, enjoyable and worthwhile for themselves as well as for everybody else in the family and society.

Seeing the strengths and weaknesses of both the sexes, it can be said that roles of men and women within a family and society are complimentary and not competitive. A women should not try to ape. There is much more grace in femininity rather than talking, acting and behaving like man.

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January 16, 2016 - Posted by | Education and training of civil services, Women's issues |

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