A Second Take On Indian Housewives!

Posted on June 26, 2011 in Society

By Anushri Saxena:

A ‘happy married life forever after’ is always viewed as the ultimate goal for a woman by her parents. They want to see their girl settled down and prospering. However, in all the haste of grabbing opportunities and making every effort not to miss them, girls are married off at an early age of 19-21, the very moment the mother lays her eyes on a suitor.

In this whole process, education tends to take a backseat. Some twenty years back this was the case, when families looked for girls who could take care of the house. Working women were thought of as heretical, a threat to the patriarchal ways and vulnerable to the running-trends.

Hence, housewives were the most sought-after brides then. They fit the bill – served well in a joint family, the kitchen loved them, mixed properly with the relatives, and from time to time they inculcated the ancestral sanskars in children. It was a happy existence, indeed, for the woman as well. But the ‘forever after’ was not bound to last for long. The emergence of a new-age woman broadened perspectives and possibilities for every woman.

Twenty-five years after the marriage, when their children are well-settled in their career field, which had once been her earnest dream; the woman is forced to question her abilities and her identity. When the picture of an urban-woman is thrown to her face she can’t help but notice what she has been missing.

Despite the urge to change, this new-found dream seems far-fetched to her. The woman is about to enter the evening of her life; which company would want to take a forty-something, inexperienced and unskilled lady?

It is a dilemma faced by thousands of women beneath the glorious veil of metropolitan cities. These women are free- free from their domestic obligations. At first, they succeeded in doing what was expected of them from their parents. Later they devoted themselves to the marital vows. A life dedicated to others. But now, freedom is theirs.

It is all right if they don’t know well a foreign language such as English. None of them must get disheartened. They might have been the best in their class in tougher and other subjects such as mathematics or history. Their worth can not merely be measured in terms of their academic status but the age of experience.

Older non-working women can surely become a part of the various Non-Governmental Organizations. These, normally, have no age-limits. It is not that difficult to get in touch with a NGO nearest to the residence. For starters, how about a local-welfare society? The only thing required is determination and faith in oneself. It’s never too late.

Here are some NGOs in Delhi can be considered:-

All India Parivartan Sewa Samiti

Tel : 91-11-25891160

Archisa the Ray of Light

Tel : 91-098919 12311
Email : [email protected]

Anubhuti Foundation

Tel : 91-11-26932906
Email : [email protected]

Amnesty International India

Tel : 91-11-41642501
Email : [email protected] , [email protected]

Akhil Bhartiya Mahila Jagriti Sansthan – Delhi

Tel : 91-11-25372482
Email : [email protected]

And my personal favourite :


Img: http://liveindia.tv/india/women-to-get-special-coach-on-delhi-metro/

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Ankit Dwivedi

nice….Quite positive approach…!


Some Women simply don’t like to work. I have friends in the age group 20 – 25 all women. They want to get married and be house wives. THEY DONT want to WORK. I think this is not a women issue at ALL. Its a Personal choice. I think there is gender bias against men in this country. Women are FINE.

Col(Retd) MN Gopakumar

1. Kindly look up an article titled “Kamala Comes Home” at : http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/719214.aspx

2. The book ‘When Work Doesn’t Work Anymore’ by Elizabeth Perle Mckenna written in 1997, is about a successful career woman, who after 20 years of relentless pursuit of success in a man’s world, (playing by the rules set by men -on ‘man’s terms’-) realizes there was something missing in her life despite achieving everyone of the goals she set for herself in personal and professional sphere. She still liked her work alright, had what she calls a ‘rock solid marriage’; yet this was not what she had thought her life would be like. There is a kind of emptiness. The author narrates the stories of women with similar predicaments and illustrates each point she makes . She also quotes Gloria Steinem (GS) to add weight to her case. One illustrative (GS) quote (on the perceived sense of failure ) is :” If you meet a woman who’s doing wonderfully well professionally, doing great creative things and is completely happy with her work, but does not have the personal life she thinks she should have, she may think she is a failure. Men are the reverse. They can have great personal lives, and think they are failures if they don’t have the job success they think they are supposed to have.” Another one illustrative of the ‘reality’ which which a ‘working mother’ unfortunately has to put up with is is(*) : “ The working world remains a place built for men with full time wives to take care of the rest of the life.”

I believe a number of other points can be pointed out as to why it is unfair for a mother to be working. However I will not inflict those here now.

With every good wish and sincere regards,

Col(Retd) MN Gopakumar.


I have also written on working women ( Women in the Army) . In case you are interested, the links are:






I think some of the comments are trivialising the issue by saying it is a personal choice. Numerous women are denied access to education, work, jobs or activities they want to do citing archaic things like a woman’s place is in the house.It is a gender issue and it has to be set right.

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