If you thought “(S)he loves me /loves me not” was one of the most difficult questions to answer in life, you probably got it right and wrong.
Why? Because there’s another question which is equally (if not more difficult) to answer, i.e. “Should she work or not? – especially if she is married / mother”. This topic is much discussed and debated in almost every circle I know. No matter his / her age, almost everyone I know has a strong view, opinion and perspective on the issue – from my neighbor’s grandfather to my mother to my mother-in-law to my friends to my colleagues to my daughter to the family friends dog to the long distance uncle / aunty who saw me once as a baby...all and sundry. But of course! We live in an era where we all have freedom of thought and speech, and so literature and stories galore!
Here’s the thing…
I know what it takes for most women to answer that question and make peace with her answer.
I know what it takes for most women to share her answer with the world, and deal with all that her response entails
I know what it takes for most women to action her answer on a daily basis, and deal with all comes her way
Because I’ve been there, and done that! And like with everything else in life – It has its good, bad and ugly.
And yet, anyone who listens to my voice knows that I am a strong advocate of #WomenAtWork.
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A lot of times I asked and ask myself “Why women should work?” Here’s my response
1) You earn. Financial independence and freedom can be one of the most important variables that influence the quality and quantity of a woman’s life. It can also be one of the most liberating aspects for a decent quality life and respect.
2) You learn. Learning is one of the foundational pillar to personal and professional growth and life, and sky (rather your view of the sky) is the limit to what you can learn when you work.
3) You have an identity of your own – independent of your personal relationships and associations. There’s no telling how important it is in your own self-confidence and self-worth
4) You are a better employer as almost all working women hire more help at home / on the domestic front – in terms of home-maintenance services, like driving / cooking / cleaning / ironing, etc. You provide an opportunity for more women to work by being a working woman yourself and make a significant contribution to improve the life of all your employees
5) You are a part of diverse life experiences and that enriches your own understanding of yourself, people, the world and life
6) You connect and interact with people from all walks of life / diverse backgrounds and that opens your mind, views, opinions and perspectives
7) Your general knowledge improves – just by being part of a world out of the 4-walls you observe, listen can comprehend a lot lot more
8) You appreciate the differences and nuances of the world within the 4-walls and outside the 4-walls. Trust me, this bursts your bubbles in terms of what it takes to be a working woman!
9) You understand human behavior and how the real-world really operates
10) You get to see how fair / unfair life is beyond the 4-walls – It is Kalyug for good reasons. And that changes the way you view your own life and the way you live your life
11) Your own self-esteem increases significantly – you just feel so much surer of yourself
12) Your family views you in a new light – many times, this translates into more respect and value they associate with you
13) You are better enabled, equipped and empowered to make decisions – simply because you know that you have a choice
14) You can “buy” things for yourself – yes! You’re a good prospect for (m)any businesses. You pump money into the economy and boost money circulation
15) You can be a role model to someone – I know many of my role models are everyday working women who balance it all every single day
16) You learn a lot of key “life skills”. Top among them are time management, communication, negotiation, saying NO
17) You tend to let-go of a lot of excess baggage – many times it is simply because you don’t have time to delve into the past or worry about the future
18) You can inspire someone somewhere – just by being a live example of “It is possible, you can do it”
19) You can “buy” things for others – with fewer questions, and no / few answers
20) You see life with a new lens
21) You realize the value of all that your mother and father and teachers and supporters / advocates a lot lot more
22) You value time a lot more. You recognize just how little / much there is
23) You feel more independent
24) You are in better control of your life
25) You teach your family independence / inter-dependence
26) You contribute to the world economy by being a productive contributor (in the economic world)
27) You understand and appreciate the value of money a lot more
28) You “genuinely” appreciate how life is for “him” – as he is the one who is usually working for the long haul
29) Your work will directly / indirectly play a significant part in your off-spring
30) Chances are you will leave a richer legacy (financial and otherwise) for your forthcoming generations
It does not matter what works she does
It does not matter where she works
It does not matter how she works
It does not matter how long she works
What matters is that SHE WORKS
Today, tomorrow and the day after
What matters is that her work makes a difference to her / their life
This post is dedicated to any / all women who have “worked” at some time in their life. May the tribe expand, flourish and prosper.