Why Do Women Work?

Last updated 25 Aug 2016 . 4 min read

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Unwritten rules have been in place since men decided to rule the roost and tell women how to live their lives.  But of late, it has turned increasingly difficult to pigeonhole us. While more women are moving out into the workspace to look for jobs, the reasons to do so are as many.

In the words of one-time television queen Oprah: I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint--and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”

The other day, I came across the story of Pranita Balar here--she chucked her media job to start her canine training school, BarknBond. Then, there are women like Sunita Rao who have gone back to school with their children to teach. The bottomline is, they have refused to be walled in. Work, they will. And the reasons for them to work are many:

Financial Security:

Social media, print and news channels went ballistic, almost lending a hand to push Urvashi Yadav’s chole kulche cart in Gurgaon. They couldn’t quite recover from the fact that she came out of her multi-crore home and SUVs, pushing a plebeian kiosk to give a financially secured future for her family.

She realized that continuing to work as a teacher would not pay the bills, after her husband met with an accident. Changing gears and holding the bull by the horns, she decided to take control of the unfolding shaky future by cashing in on what she did best--cooking.

Financial Independence:

That paycheque bearing their name is incentive enough for many women to be out working, although the family is positioned well. Sunita Rao, teaching in a reputed Delhi school, continues with her demanding job for that cheque that is exclusively hers.

There are times when she just wants to throw her hands up, with all the work that she brings back home invariably. And yet, she would not give it up--for the independence it brings with it.

Productivity and validation:  

Jayati Prabhu, a communication specialist in the development sector, could never quite make peace with domestic chores.

“All the hours I spent studying and understanding the nuances of sociology as a student and then learning the ropes in the field while working for the NGOs were going up in smoke,” she said. She felt she was being wasted, and realised she was never going to be happy ‘settling’ down. “I know I can contribute much more at the workplace with my experience and also as a qualified member of the society,” she added.

The Learning Process At Work:

Adding to the sentiment is Neerja Kumar, an HR professional: “I wouldn’t give this up for anything. Financial independence is one part of it. I really don’t need to work in the conventional sense, because we are comfortably off. But what drives me is that my job allows me to grow as a person and continue with the learning curve.”

It is also a journey of self-discovery for her, as she points out: “There are situations when I realise a different facet of me responding to an issue, or a fresh perspective of looking at a problem that I never knew existed within me.”

Women like Jayati and Neerja agree that going out of home and meeting a different set of people is like a release from the humdrum. Women are thriving on interesting conversations that trigger new ideas, expanding on professional network, and by and large, leading a more meaningful life.

The reasons could be many for women stepping out to work and also going back to work after a break. One thing is for sure--these women know where they are going and that they are not going to retrace their steps. They might as well be stepping in tune with Girl On Fire.

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Ilakshee Nath
Ilakshee Bhuyan Nath is a freelance writer having contributed to magazines both e-versions as well as print. She donned many hats as TV newsreader, anchor and voice over artiste, teacher, communication specialist before starting on writing while baby-sitting her two daughters. She is an avid traveller, blogger and spectator of life.

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