Women, are they treated equal?


Credit: Clipart by r formidable - http://clipartof.com/72879

I work hard and expect no miracles… but even in my sleep I ponder on this: are Women treated equally?

From where I come, raising such a question will only recieve smirks and shrugs. Do you ever question the obvious. People have lived fine for years and years in this country (and rest of Asia) just to serve men. So Men are superior you say? But why so, I thought we are all born the same.

When my children were born, I was the least worried about their gender. The first born was a son and I loved him because he was a child of mine, well the second one was also a boy and I loved him for the same reason. Some how I never had a girl and I can’t tell you if I would have felt any different. From the very early age I questioned Gender Equality, that was before I knew it had its own name. Since I ask questions from everyone I also asked my grandfather. And he warned me if you grow up like that nobody would want to marry you and you will never lead a happy life. Well that made me shut up for sometime.

Why is it wrong to question what we see – obviously I saw the women in our household worked long hours, busy with their hands measuring, pounding, cutting, cooking, waching, ironing, sweeping, cleaning gardening, looking after little ones. Then they show up all clean and dressed for visitors, pushing trolleys of food, making cool drinks or tea, washing up after everybody has left. I was trained to follow suit helping in these chores. Don’t think I didn’t notice, that the boys were at play, the uncles were chatting, smoking or playing guitar the older gentry talking serious politics. We were also badly numbered (that is too many boys and too few girls) so the contrast in gender for this 5 year old was vivid.

It so happened that all my life I’ve been looking for answers – why such a difference was necessary. And all the while I completed my wifely duties, my motherly tasks and as I put the folded laundery into neat piles I would continue to wonder why we haven’t evolved. When I set about on foot, to the market to get fruits and vegetable in this surrounding I notice how the gender balance tips downward with poverty. The poorer women work hard, with no thanks for the support they provide for their family. They recieve if anything but harsh words from their lazy men. By half way mark they are stooping over, over weight with cracked feet, toothless but still plods on. If I travel by car and actually go shopping the situation improves some what. Women at counters are able to work in diginity. Women shop alone and seem quite happy with it. Women shop with their kids and seem to manage. I see them been loving and caring and wanting their children to have everything. If you watch women shopping with men, it’s quite disgusting that men should want to hang on to a cell phone, look at other women and be totally uninterested in his women’s needs. So is this any improvement? These very same women would happily shop for their men and even by gifts for friends and relatively at short notice.

Okay, so may be my outlook is no good. I am noticing things that others have learnt to ignore. I am going to come back with more material – I take a break to colourwash my kitchen! (this shows that I’m gender equal the other way round too)

Could you answer these questions:

1. Would you rather be working  in an office that has a gender equal policy?

2. Where do you fit in: in a family where the man is the soul bread winner and the woman does the house hold work and look after the children, or where both work and share the chore and responsibilities?


2 responses »

  1. Before I answer the questions, I want to tell you that my perception is completely different. What I saw (or the way I saw) things from a very young age was very different. (I will have a chat with you on this rather than typing everything here). But it is your nice way of writing which led me to think where it started for me to think that I was never treated differently or in an unfair manner because I am woman.However I agree totally with you on your comments on shopping. (my choice is I do it on my own, but all my expensive goods are shopped for by my husband. I would never pay USD 70 for a pair of shoes, but would not mind wearing those when he buys and brings them!!)

    To answer your two questions, I have never felt that any place I have worked at (UoM, or any other place where I have done various part time or consultancy work) that there was gender inequality.
    For the second question, I am in the second category and very happy and content with that, yet I would love to change roles and be in the first. (My sister did that and you know how much we enjoy our 3 nieces!).

    Some times I keep on wondering whether it is us who creates the issue. I know that many Asian women have not had the opportunities that I have had, but then it becomes a different question. The education I had is because of what I was capable of, there are many of my male cousins who could not have that opportunity because they were not capable of entering a leading school or a state university. Many would not agree with my perception on this issue, yet this is how I truly feels about it. My take is I do not want to be treated differently or as a second class citizen because I am a woman. So I do not want any favors. This is why I hate gender preferences. (Girls to be given more opportunities in certain areas is like treating me a second class citizen.).

    • Thank you for your comment. Our childhood experiences (especially of our formative years) sits like a window in our life, through which we view the world. We may attract people and events, threads of karma and weave our tale of life.

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