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Social stigmas & women empowerment

OUR societies are largely male dominated and gender equality has become an elusive goal. Although, women are working in all professions, ranging from medical, education, industries, media, defence, judiciary, to politics but a large part of society is reluctant to accept them as equal to men. It is also interesting that several international and local organizations are working for women’s right and various countries are rendering women protection laws yet inadequate implementation makes women a weaker and vulnerable part of society.
A working woman works harder to learn a new skill, because she has more duties such as responsibility of family and job compulsions go together and she has to work double. According to UN “women work longer hours than men…. their household chores and caring for children are taken into account”. However, women are increasingly willing to work outside the home and facing social challenges. There is predominant mindset that women are fragile and cannot perform well outside home. Mostly working women do not go to top level positions because of entrenched gender inequality in societies. Thus the unfavourable environment of home and society hinders qualified women from utilizing their full potential.
It is widely seen that unpaid household work and supervision of family affect women’s access to quality work. Largely, working women claim that they hardly get help around the house which adds up in their stressful life. It is also seen that some of female workers could not progress with the pace, as other male colleagues can do, which cause strain and at times disappointment. Many women feel that they are trapped in mass of commitments, a female is in charge of kitchen and domestic affairs, can hardly get due recognition of office work.
Another general practice is that a man receives extensive recognition from society to professionally grow more, however in case of a woman lots of hindrances, including family societal pressures curb her way to progress. It would not be wrong to say that women’s work often remained unrecognized because of gender inequality. Prevailing patriarchy often denies females to access to quality education and causes appalling situation for women. Low literacy rate of females, lack of support, movement of their own and the barrier of experience also hinder in women’s progress. In many countries, parents consider their sons a guarantee of their economic security for their old age and stop their daughters’ participation in social activities, this practice make girls more submissive and they cannot perform well in jobs. Furthermore, women, across all occupations, earn lesser than men due to social stigmas. Women when go out for jobs, bear critical comments and unpleasant environment which shake their confidence. Hence, it is desirable to bring our societies on this term that women are no lesser than men and are competent enough in all fields of life.
The participation of women in economic activity is largely growing but parity in employment is still not established. Generally, working women invest large proportion of their earnings in their families but remain unrecognized. A woman feels restricted to participate in public dealing arena as societal norms curb her movement too. Although laws exist to empowerwomen but these are not being implemented in most parts of the world. Hence, female representation in comparison to men at all levels, is a matter of great concern.
In this developed world, several women, who were once dependent on men, have taken control of their own economic fates and are coping with emerging social challenges. More needs to be done to bring about gender equality. Working women should be more cognizant and they have to stay organized to get over challenging situations at home and job. They must deal with ordeal wisely to earn success. Women should work on new lines to scale up power and to get recognition. The equal rights and opportunities of women and men must be assured as equitable access to assets and services will strengthen woman’s position. Developing societies must understand that spending on women’s education will reduce hunger and world will be healthier and peaceful place to live in. Moreover, organizations must encourage by acknowledging their participation and ensuring adoption of policies which aimed at empowerment of women.

Rauf, Sarwat. Social stigmas & women empowerment. Observer, February 14, 2017.

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