There is a proverb in Hindi – Bin gharni, ghar bhoot ka dera. Without woman a home is a dwelling place of ghost. It is the fact that when a woman comes in the life of a man, only then the living place is transformed into a home. The houses, small or big, are not homes. Every man wishes to start a family. In our homes, each and every girl was given informal education for turning a house into a home. She herself is called “family”. Man is normally asked – “where is your family?” Understanding the meaning of the family, he replies accordingly. Nobody asks a woman – “where is your family?” Why?
Only because the perception and belief prevailing in the society are that woman herself is a family. She prepares herself for family. To run a small or big family is not an easy task. The multifaceted works and responsibilities of woman in a family have been herculean task for every woman.
Even then she gets satisfaction and happiness in a family only. It was a practice in the society that when fixing the marriage of a boy, the parents of the girl were asked whether their daughter knew the art of running a home or not? Did she know cooking, ironing, cleaning the house and stitching clothes? The housewives were supposed to do each and every work a home requires. She is supposed to read the moods of each and every member of the family and behave accordingly. Only a woman has to run the house and while failing to do so, she is laughed at and rebuked by elder members of the family, especially the mother-in-law. Actually every mother-in-law wants that her daughter-in-law should run her home in the same way as she has been keeping since decades. It is a fact that the house, in which the bride enters, is built up and maintained by her mother-in-law only. She wishes that her daughter-in-law will take care of the house in the same way.
Now the joint family concept is decaying in the society. Everybody wants to live in small towns or metro cities in a nuclear family, where husband, wife and the children (one or maximum two) reside. In agriculture families three or four generations could be seen living together. In business families also three generations used to live together. Now the time and moods of people have changed. Modern generation boys and girls get jobs in different cities. Families of two real brothers cannot live in same city. So, the thinking and desire of living under one roof by two brothers is rare.
One can find a great change in the attitude of society regarding expectation of people from young women also. Now parents do not teach their daughters the household works. At the time of marriage the parents of boys also do not ask the would be daughter-in-law about her knowledge of house keeping. She is only asked her educational qualification and the salary she gets.
The parents of boys are very happy telling their relatives and friends the educational qualifications of their would be daughter-in-laws. But, the moment she enters the house, everybody expects that she should be a perfect housewife also. She brings high package from her company, but does not find time to do much for her house. She gets promotions in her office, but she cannot promote her house to turn into home. Is she the culprit? Answer will be a big ‘No’. She has not been brought up in such a way that she will have to look after her home also.
A section of women activists promoting ‘women empowerment’ in their own way, speaks loudly that women were exploited where they were performing their household job only. While searching the ways to make the woman happier, they go to the extent while saying that preparing food and serving family members were also exploitation of women. They do not see the happiness of women from household works. To some extent they may be right.
But it is the fact that every woman wishes a home, whether she is working or only a housewife. Working women also want a home to relax. Workplace expects only her full attention on work. Nobody can get relaxation at workplace, which is the need of the body and mind of human being. Even working women want sweet homes, whether they get time to turn a house into home or not. Only a home can give happiness to woman, which is built by her mind, efforts and soul combinedly.
Now coming to the responsibility of a man, other family members (if there is any) society, government and the employer also, it can be said that all have to recognise, give respect and look after the household responsibilities of women, who are expected to look after not only the whole family, but some way or other the society also. In Hindu concept, the life of hundred years of a person is divided in four ashrams, bramhcharya ashram, grihastha ashram, vanprastha asgram and sanyas ashram.
It was believed that all the three ashrams were depended on grihastha ashram. Grihastha ashram is nothing but a residence of the family members, where women are the whole and sole. They are the axis of the family.
Woman should not be left alone. She was not alone in our traditional joint families also. She used to take care of the whole family and the family used to take care of her. Now in the changing lifestyle and situations also she deserves care and facilities to perform her household duties. In a recent study the researchers came to the conclusion that in India 85 per cent women’s preference is home. In present time she is overloaded with official works. It becomes hard for her to look after the house and children. Even the couples bringing double income do not want kids.
I cannot believe that they do not desire kids. The desire of kids in every living being is natural. The society, government and employers of the highly qualified women have to chalk out the plans to facilitate women to enjoy their works outside the homes at the same time the home and children also. Women have come out from homes. They are enjoying 50 per cent seats in local bodies. They are in politics and different jobs also. Actually women have entered each and every field of works, which were thought to be only men’s world. It is good. Let her go everywhere. But the society and the government have to see that she is given facilities to enjoy her home also. Because home sweet home is the preference of women, without her a man can build house, but cannot turn it into a home. Her natural liking should be respected and facilitated for the benefit of the whole society.