Choices of working women


October 17th, 2014

I’m a working mother. I choose to work because I love what I do.

However I do feel under pressure to create the perfect life work balance and I do feel I’m being judged when people ask how many days a week I work and how long after having my baby did I return to work. I’m lucky, I have a great support system and my partner is very hands on. But has anyone asked my partner these questions? No. Does he feel pressure to make sure he is spending enough time with our child compared to furthering his career? I doubt it. Would he have the same considerations if he was offered his perfect job somewhere a bit further from home? Of course not.

Society now deems it perfectly acceptable for women to work after having a baby but we are still expected to also run the home, cook the dinner, look after and be there for the children in a superwoman type role. The end result is a lot of very tired multi-taskers who may feel like they are spreading themselves too thinly! It’s hard to be a career woman and I imagine this is probably why there aren’t enough women CEO’s and board members in the UK. On the whole women do have to choose between career and home, men don’t. The number of dads and grandparents that are taking on the primary care of children is on the rise but there is still a stigma attached to working career mums.  So much so that Facebook and Apple felt the need to come up with a solution – they will pay for women to freeze their eggs so they can climb the career ladder and then have children.  Really?

Collecting firewoodBut what about women who have no choice but to work long arduous hours just to feed their family and provide a roof over their heads.  We’re told that women do two-thirds of the world’s work, receive 10% of the world’s income and own only 1% of the means of production. In remote Zimbabwean villages women farm day after day with their children strapped to their backs, and walk miles to the nearest water source for washing, drinking and watering the crops, whilst the men work away in South Africa. In Sudan women walk miles and miles over dangerous terrain, risking rape and violence, just to collect sparse firewood.  That’s then used for cooking on stoves that pollute the air so much it is slowly killing them and their family. And in Bangladesh women spend hours growing crops and looking after livestock only for the monsoon floods to wipe the crops, animals and their home away, year after year. This is an inequality.

The good news is that my employer, Practical Action, is working closely with these women in a variety of ways such as; introducing irrigation, crop rotation, more resilient seeds, smoke and wood free cook stoves, flood resistant crops and early weather warning systems to help them to improve their lives.  But there are millions more who need our help to overcome the inequalities of their life. Find out how you can help.

One response to “Choices of working women”

  1. Yassir AM Says:

    I am always dreaming for a system, in which women rewarded and awarded for just being a woman, because they give and produce the most priceless product, the human being, they deliver lives accompanied with true-heart love. in our daily live, women at work do their job 100% equally to men, at home they do all the job which make live easier and sustain (skills and efforts of cooking, washing, cleaning, maintain, caring for children, caring for the demand lazy stallion.
    Solving women inequality, requires the Ultimate Miracle.!!!

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