Every company must have a provision for work from home jobs for women
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Beti Bachao Beti Padho is a very successful campaign! I am completely in support of this decision, but will we be able to sustain it? We are educating our girl child, but is it really making a difference? Are the Indian women really becoming independent? May be yes, at least till the time the lady doesn’t get married, she can make use of her education to become independent and if she is lucky enough, she would have time to use that till she decides to give birth to a child.
Well we all know the reason behind it. So both the Husband and Wife decides to have a child when the women finally agrees to leave her career and compromise on the same so that they can extend their family. Sometimes, the women may willingly and happily agree to have a kid and may no more want to continue working, but in most of the cases, they don’t have a choice and so the moment they decide to have a kid, the lady would have to compromise with her career. That’ the rule of our land in India. She leaves her job and now she has to raise her child and she can’t go to work because she as mother feels that her kid would need her and she cannot make the hard decision of putting her child in daycare. She is undoubtedly thankful to the Maternity Act, 1961 that she can put her kid in the creche which would be near her office, but she doesn’t have the confidence to do that and she cannot afford to leave her child in a daycare because she feels guilty of not fulfilling her duties of raising her child responsibly and she would not want her child to compromise or not get the much deserved mother’s time. There’s no work from home opportunities available. Her husband on the other hand definitely cannot leave the job because he is earning more than her and her income would not be sufficient to run the family and of course it would look very odd for a man to be home and women to go out and work. So for a happy family, she decides to put a stop in her career till the time the kid reaches his/her adolescence.
After the kid has attained her/his adolescence, a lot of personality and hormonal changes takes place. It is a very critical stage of personality development and the mother would need to make sure that her child is with the right people and is getting the right education. The mother can in no way think of going out for work because the child would now need her for her/his homework, tutions. When the child goes to school, her mother would need to pack the lunch boxes, when he/she comes from school, it is the mother’s duty to give him/her food and spend time with the child. When the child goes to school and the mother gets some free time to reflect on her life, she thinks about her past. She thinks of how she struggled to get the degrees she received, how she struggled to get a job and how she became independent. So how are those degrees helping her today? Is it really making a meaningful difference in her life? An educated mother might help her child to get educated, but is that enough? Is she able to justify her struggle as a girl child and her parent’s struggle of fighting the odds and providing her education? I don’t think so.
After the child becomes an adult, he/she is no more dependent on her mother. Her mother would now have to focus on her in-law who are now in their old age. She now cannot leave the house because someone needs to be their to take care of the elderly and it is her responsibility as a daughter-in-law to take full care of her parents. That’s her role and she cannot afford to fail in that. There’s no work that she can do at home and earn money. She is stuck yet again but is happy. She depends on her partner for her needs and wishes but is happy. That’s okay, that’s another rule of our land and we should not be surprised!
After her in-laws leave for their heavenly abode, the daughter-in-law is now free. She is now free to do anything she wants. She starts looking for jobs to keep her busy and to restart her career. It is the time when she feels that she needs to justify her qualifications. She leaves no stone unturned, but in vain. There’s no job for her because she took a big career break and now she doesn’t have any experience. She gets frustrated. She gets frustrated of asking her partner for everything but then she is fine with it because this is how it is meant to be always. His partner on the other hand is frustrated of fulfilling his child’s wishes first, his parents wishes then and now his wife’s wishes. He has no time to focus on his wishes because money doesn’t grow on trees. Yet he makes sure that he provides all that he can for a happy family.
If luck favours her, she might die before her partner does, but if luck is not with her, she might just be left with her kid. No money in hand, just life. A dependent life, but nobody to fall back on. How’s the degrees helping her now? How’s her educational qualification making her and her child independent? How is her life different than a woman who doesn’t have any qualification or is an illiterate?
The story elaborated above was the story of a fortunate women. Let me tell you why. What if the women was in a abusive relationship and was a victim of domestic violence? She would not have survived so long with her kid. She would have probably looked out for avenues where she can live a peaceful life, but honestly, she has nothing to fall back upon! She cannot go back to her parents with her kid because the society is cruel and will consider her guilty and “Log kya kahenge”. She cannot go out and earn, because she cannot leave her child anywhere because it is “unsafe”. She cannot go to a shelter home, because the shelter homes would also not take care of her child for long. She cannot file a complaint against her husband because she cannot afford to hire a lawyer and she cannot keep going to the court because she cannot let her child get affected by it. She cannot send her child to a boarding school because she doesn’t have money. The best she can do is to continue to stay in the abusive relationship and die with it.
The need of the hour now is to get the women in the workforce and for that we would need work from home opportunities. Currently there are hardly any company in India which provides work from home opportunities. If companies in India can employ women who can work from home, not only will it help the women become financially independent, the companies will also have an advantage in getting employees without having to worry about the infrastructure cost.
I plead to the Ministry of Corporate affairs to think on these lines and help us with some policy reforms where the companies are bound to provide jobs to these ladies who cannot go out to work because of the societal roles imposed upon her. For our economy to grow, we need an India where we are able to both get and sustain the women in the workforce. If we are able to do this, India would be a happier country! The situation of women getting pushed towards below the Poverty Line in case of a sudden separation or death of the spouse or for any other reason could be controlled. For women who are bound to raise her child alone and cannot leave the child unattended, work from home is the only solution for her to survive.
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