Sharing Love, Sharing Responsibility
They say, “Behind every successful man, there is a woman.” However, if we alter this adage a little, we’ll find that behind every successful woman there is a man. But the thing that should capture our attention is that there are few women who make it as successful leaders, rather, we do not at all find considerable number of women in leadership positions. Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, discusses this issue and its various repercussions, in one of her talks.
Amongst other things, she mentions that a woman should make her partner a real partner. A husband or beau is not simply for reasons of companionship and pleasure, he must also stand by her through thick and thin, helping her to live by what she believes in. He should not only encourage her to take up a career of her choice, but also extend his best efforts so that both of them can strike a healthy balance between work and home. If such an understanding is reached between partners, it will ensure both professional success and personal fulfilment.
Researches indicate that if a woman and a man both work full-time, and have a child, the women does twice the amount of house-work and thrice the amount of child-care than the man. Why should such a sharp disparity exist in today’s times, when women are rubbing shoulders with men in each and every field?? While most claim that the lines of gender segregation have blurred, we still have to witness the sad reality of women having to slog it out at work as well as take up the daily household chores. Oftentimes, she has to let go of better prospects just because she cannot compromise with her duties at home, or rather, because, her partner can hardly be expected to partake in such things.
In the contemporary era, if there exists an equal pressure on girls to succeed as boys, then the gender-defined roles at home should also be reviewed accordingly, in order to even things out. Boys need to be taught to mend a hand in jobs inside the home, so that they grow up to be sensible and mature partners, who understand the need of sharing not only financial but also domestic responsibilities with their spouses. As Sandberg puts it, “Households with equal earnings and equal responsibility have half the divorce rate and ‘know each other more’, in the Biblical sense.”
Women also need to emerge out of their age-old stereotyped roles and tell themselves that if they can step out of their homes to climb the ladder of power, money and fame; in short, success, then their partners should also learn to assist them within the interiors of home. Let your partner be a true partner, in your woes and anxieties. Nobody can manage both the worlds alone. Women should expect their partners to do their fair share of housework and childcare. The message to all the women out there is bold and clear : Let your partner be a ‘part’ of your ambition, your quest, your desires from life, and your journey in achieving what you truly deserve.