Monday, 8th of March, is the international day for women. We celebrate the empowerment of women in society – economic, political and social. But the real question is, has there been any empowerment of women in society, and more importantly, what do you mean when you say empowerment ? Some say it means confidence, self-respect or simply power. Yet, the irony remains that in today’s society, the ’empowered woman’ has to wear a traditionally masculine attire, to gel in with the crowd. While some sections of society treat this advent of professional working class women a step towards the ultimate goal of gender equity, the fact remains that society is not ready to have at the helm of the ship, a woman. This is sort of like how society does not accept house-husbands (men who do the chores of a traditional housewife).
Then comes the problem of the children. With both the couples working, the child perhaps, does not have sufficient parental care required for proper growth both physically and mentally. In some cases, the child has seen less of the parent, and more of the maid taking care of him/her. Isnt this kind of like growing up in an orphanage perhaps ? And if the wife say, does decide to stay at home and take care of the kid, isn’t this a social low ground for the wife to be in, and hence, isn’t this leading to the exact opposite of gender empowerment.
So, there is a problem with what we try to mean by gender empowerment. What we mean is a very superficial form of gender empowerment – the materialistic form. What is however more essential, is that we change the attitude of the people of society towards women. It has to be one of mutual respect. For, the fact remains, that no matter what they do for a living, they are the mothers of the human race, which to say is a heavy burden to carry, would be in fact be an understatement.