Education & Changing Roles of WomenThis is a featured page

Dadi came from a generation of the past. She was raised to obey and follow instructions – especially the mother-in-laws’ words. She was from a time of traditions whereby the women were suppressed. They must keep their faces covered and hide behind men and serve them. The women must work despite how wealthy their family might be. And the women must manage the household and keep it together. More importantly they should bear the family a son. In fact, they would rather not have daughters at all and sing criticisms when a girl is born. Despite the lack of education, Dadi was a liberated woman. While others in the village might claimed that education ruined a girl; she welcome her educated daughter-in-law from the city with open arms. She treated everyone in the family equally and took care of her all her daughter-in-laws whether educated or not. However other people in North India feel differently. They believed that women should be working in the field and in the house too; instead going to the city to study and make a living. The daughter-in-laws of Dadi’s family were part of the new generation who will not follow blindly their mother-in-law’s word. They would think of their own nuclear family and the husband’s interest- whether a not staying in a big family is profitable.

Its more than just in Haryana, the ever changing roles of women all over the world occur because of education. But what defines the roles of women? Genders are the roles culturally defined for one to follow in their society. Tradition decided that women should be the home maker- not the bread winner. Tradition decided that men should be one in power- the one who gets the inheritance. Educated women however wished to step out of that role and create their own definition of what a female can or cannot do. In fact, India has a female president in the office currently and world’s longest serving Prime Minister is a woman from India. I believed that education opened up new ideas and provide opportunities for women to step up of their traditional roles. Who is to say what is a woman’s role? As the different generations of women get exposed to different upbringing, they feel more confident to find their own identity instead of being confined to the structure of their culture. I don’t believe the education ruined a girl or encourage them to rebel against their tradition. Education merely opened up the idea that there many possibility of what women can do. This causes women all over the world to be inspired to find their own identity and definition of themselves. Instead of merely believing a woman must stay home and raise kids, they are able to bring in income as well. However because of this the traditional family system and roles will alter as mothers are no longer expected to stay home to manage the household. Whether it is in the rural North India or just modern Singapore city, the roles of women in families are ever changing and it is an undeniable fact.

"The family unit plays a critical role in our society and in the training of the generation to come."
—Sandra Day O'Connor

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Latest page update: made by Caterpillar6 , Sep 10 2010, 7:10 AM EDT (about this update About This Update Caterpillar6 Edited by Caterpillar6

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