Today, there is no field in which women have not demonstrated their worth. From holding the highest public office in bureaucracy to the highest political position, women have handled a wide range of responsibilities with great success. In their position in this man-dominated society, a lot of change has occurred. The sufferings of women have multiplied as a result of the gradual transition from household life to working life.”
Women were adored and worshiped as goddesses in ancient times. In sharp contrast to the fatherland of the West, our country is dubbed “Mother Land.” Several women held prominent positions in society and played critical roles during the ancient period. Maitreyi, Lilawati, Gargi, and Katyayani are some of the memorable names that will never fade or become absolute. Women have been adored as virtues incarnate since time immemorial. Saraswati is known as the “Goddess of Learning,” while Parvati is known as the “Goddess of Chastity,” Lakshmi is known as the “Goddess of Wealth,” and Durga Kali is known as the “Goddess of Power and Energy.” “Wherever women are worshiped, the deities are pleased,” said Manu, the great scholar.
The women were the center and foundation of the family’s social and cultural life. Women’s sphere of activity was the home. The traditional belief is that men build houses and women build homes.’ The woman’s responsibilities were limited to raising the children and caring for every family member with her loving and amiable qualities, which she inherited. The traditional belief was that man is for the field and woman is for the home.
With India’s political emancipation, women in free India were thrust into a new role. Women now have the same status as men and have equal access to opportunities. She became financially independent and sound, she became a major decision-maker, and she became a policymaker in a variety of new fields. She ventured out into the field, but the traditional views about her role as a homemaker, about her so-called sacred duties of other, Sister, Wife, continue to place demands on her. The women divide their time between official work and domestic responsibilities. Her responsibilities begin early in the morning, with many responsibilities on her shoulders before going to the office, such as preparing breakfast, lunch, getting the kids ready for school, and so on. During office hours, she must work equally, if not more sincerely, than her male coworkers. Even after the office closes, she must complete her responsibilities at home. Her pathetic position, working at home as well as at the office, is not admired, even by her husband or mother-in-law, or father-in-law.
Her husband’s support and cooperation in household work are at his sole discretion. The husband is free to make excuses about overburdened work and official exigencies, but the wife is expected to be found fresh and amiable at all times. The men believe that housework is solely the responsibility of women. He considers working at home to be beneath his dignity, and anything he does is done solely for his own pleasure and convenience.
The working environment in the offices, particularly for women, is also unfavorable. Most of their male counterparts use the woman as a convenient scapegoat for satisfying their sexual desires. Intentional touching, double meaning dialogues, unwarranted comments, and piercing in her private affairs are some of the common examples that irritate women and make them defensive. A working woman is likely to face incidents of one-sided sexual advancement by her boss, staring at her body parts and enticing her with a quick promotion in return. As women advance in their careers, they become more vulnerable to dangers such as eve-teasing, sexual advancement, transfers, and so on. The woman can only describe the terrors and difficulties she faced while working in an office.
People in today’s male-dominated, patriarchal society find it difficult to accept women as autonomous individuals. In addition to these difficulties, women are obligated to perform the traditional role of childbearing and child-rearing. She can’t give up her roles as a mother and a wife. So, while playing these natural roles, she was sometimes required to be out of the office for an extended period of time, which has a negative impact on her career, albeit not openly but in reality. Another peculiar problem that a woman faces when her husband is transferred out of town and she is unable to shift as a working woman because the children prefer to stay with her mother. She is now required to play the roles of both parents, and her responsibilities have been tripled.
A career woman’s problems are numerous and unique, varying from place to place, office to office, and person to person. In this fast-changing world, particularly with regard to the role that women accept and play, an analysis is required to find a suitable balance in order to save career women from their ever-increasing hardships.
It is no longer relevant to argue that the traditional role of women was a better path to take. The woman has her own personality, she is more confident, financially independent, accepting any kind of challenge, and she can no longer be subjected to man’s illogical dominance, but she suffers greatly mentally and physically because she is divided between home and office.
The situation necessitates the implementation of effective measures to protect working women in their official environments from the lust and greed of male bosses and colleagues. Educational serials and programs must be launched to educate society via audio and visual media so that women can feel safe in their workplaces and live peacefully and with dignity. Unless and until men’s attitudes toward women change, no law, no matter how strict or stringent, can improve the working conditions of women in our society.
Our society had been a male-dominated society, and the changes are being digested gradually. With the necessity of time separation from joint families and women’s financial independence, men are slowly but steadily absorbing the change. The government’s actions against eve-teasing and sexual harassment of working women have also resulted in many positive changes in the lives of working women. Despite all of the difficulties that working women face, it should be noted that women have fought a great battle and are still fighting on their own against the fear and hardships that they face, and have achieved remarkable success in every field of life.