Too lazy to work, too lazy to move: Make the wife work

Employment makes a woman independent and strong; women do not get education to do laundry and cook for their husbands.

Kulsoom Inam April 07, 2013
Gone are the days when marriage meant that the husband was responsible for earning bread while the woman’s role is that of staying at home, running the household and taking care of her husband and children.

With evolving times, the concept of matrimony has changed in developed, as well as developing countries. Now, a husband and wife are considered two wheels of a car in all aspects. Women earn as much as their husbands and take part in contributing to the household expenses.

While this approach has been acknowledged worldwide, people belonging to the subcontinent, and mostly Pakistan, have contradictory opinions.

For instance, a 66-year-old Imam Uddin considers running the household a woman’s utmost responsibility.

“In Pakistan, a woman’s priority should be her home, husband and children. If she can manage work alongside her household duties then she should go for it. But if her professional life hampers her responsibility as a wife and a mother, then there is no need for her to continue,” he says.

While a majority of the senior citizens are still firm on the old beliefs, the newer generation considers it a woman’s right to work and progress.

A graduate student Zeeshan Ahmed is of the view that women should be allowed to work. He stated that this will give them (women) self-confidence and courage to raise their voice against any sort of ill-treatment.

Commenting on the subject, a young working lady exclaims,

“Employment makes a woman independent and gives her the courage to stand up for herself. They do not get education to do laundry and cook a meal!”

Despite the modern times and liberal minds, men are still seen advocating the old belief.

Somewhat agreeing to Imam Uddin, a 30-year-old bachelor says,

“With marriage, a woman’s responsibilities grow tenfold and it becomes difficult to manage work and responsibilities after that. Hence, I think, it’s better if she focus on her duties as a wife. After all, men are the breadwinners; what’s the point of their working?”

In most cases, the decision to let a woman work is in the hands of men. While some men prefer that their wives or daughters or sisters sit at home, others love their lazy lives and compel the women of the house to earn a living.

My maid once told me that her husband beat her because she refused to give him money to buy drugs. She further complained that her husband doesn’t work at all and takes up all that she earns, spending it on his addiction.

Sadly enough, situations like these are very common among the poverty-stricken class. However, this is not limited to the less-educated class. In fact, I know women who are bound to work, not because they are financially unstable but because their husbands are too lazy to work. Ironic but true!

Read more by Kulsoom here
Kulsoom Inam
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.