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Do you feel that women are meant to be homemakers? And if so, only homemakers? Well, yes, to some extent, especially as per gender roles in Asian culture, they are more family-oriented in general, but that does not imply that the entire female race belongs to the same interest group. Despite decades of numerous incidents and accusations, numerous debates and real-life examples of women being in the forefront, there is still a prevailing ideology of differentiating society. It is almost unbelievable to think of a woman not interested in bearing a child, cooking for the entire house or caring for every family member. In other words, a man shouldn’t always be viewed as a strict, emotionless money-making machine.

Bitter but true that woman is considered a baby-making machine and man to be a money-making machine. One of the many unspoken stereotypes is that a man shows his love by being the tough one spending blood and sweat to earn money to feed the family and a woman is a sacrificial goddess in the family. If a woman wishes to manage an office and earn a living, it should be recognized, encouraged, and accepted. This is equally true if a man wishes to be a stay-at-home dad.

These are general concepts that are perceived differently by a patriarch and a feminist. There have been numerous ongoing arguments on machismo and femininity to be confused as defining attributes for a man or a woman. The equational myth cannot be satisfied aside from these generalized assumptions.

Let’s focus on some real-life testaments of Gender Roles in Asian Culture.

Scenario One

Naila (imaginary name), is from a good family and has an excellent academic profile with a first-class master’s degree. She has all the freedom to study and is also very good at managing a house. She married a gentleman from a good family, who is an Engineer and earns a decent salary. The groom’s family is happy to get a well-educated daughter-in-law matching the calibre of their Engineer son. It is the perfect match for them to show off in society. What’s the twist when everything’s going well?

 Well, it appears she would rather hold a laptop than a cooking spud.

Women in some well-educated families are expected to stay home and raise children, which is fine, but what if the woman has a dream of her own? What about the knowledge she gained that goes unused? Well, she might have the full authority of running the household and making all household decisions. However, is it enough for an educated girl to be known as an engineer’s wife and to remain happy with materialistic comfort?

 How about her own identity?

Women empowerment does not mean allowing girls to study and giving them a luxurious life.

 Scenario Two

Rina (imaginary name) passed class five without the opportunity to continue her studies as her father struggled financially. She got married to a labourer who earned barely enough money to sustain them. Rina had difficulty raising her three children, and it became intolerable when her husband’s income wasn’t enough to feed them. She had no other choice but to take up a job as a house helper to contribute to the family’s earning. After working throughout the day, she got exhausted and had no dreams any more. The next day, the cycle continues.

 In this story, no expectation or dream is being fulfilled.

The husband cannot impose restrictions on Rina to stay home because of a severe need for money to get them food. Being an earner does not give Rina a sense of contentment. Even if she is earning money, that does not mean her identity is being recognized; rather, there is an endowment of necessity.

 What about her own wishes?

The point here is that supporting women to earn money to support life does not define woman empowerment. 

The scenario could be different, so the acceptance can also be different in high-profile educated families from uneducated struggling families.

There are many stories where Naila and Rina have begrudgingly or willingly compromised their own wishes or expectations in the face of this modern-day social dilemma. Even in educated societies, people do not really comprehend the actual meaning of woman empowerment. Our debate is no longer whether women are allowed to study or work. We have passed that era now. There are examples of women being in high ranking positions at work or becoming a happy homemaker, but the real question is whether they can get their identity.

It is not about being male or female. Not about being masculine or fertile. It is about being an individual soul with distinctive needs and desires. Without discriminating characterization, simply a Human.


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Nur Sadiyat
Nur Sadiyat

Sadiyat is a passionate dreamer who looks for interesting ideas to make every moment of her life enjoyable. An aspiring writer, passionate about colors, and a lively and straightforward person who enjoys long walks and moonlight nights. If she gets upset or angry, just a hangout and ice cream are enough to smile back immediately.

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