Managing Work & Home- Is the Indian Woman Getting a Fair Deal


“You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women.”

These utterings by Jawaharlal Nehru give us a glimpse of the kind of society the leaders of our nation envisaged. Today, we see women role models in almost every sphere of business and society. There are places where women have even outperformed men. The Indian woman of today has come along way from the subjugated homemaker of yesteryears. These women have bravely taken up the responsibility of developing the nation, creating enterprises and contributing to the professional workforce. And all this has been done without shunning their traditional garb of ‘the homemaker’.

But is the reality for these women as rosy as it looks? Have they got their fair share of recognition and support? The sad reality is – our society has encouraged women to enter into professional spheres and yet assumed a regressive chauvinistic outlook towards them. Our society has failed in giving a fair deal to these women from all perspectives. This hypocrisy has manifested itself in the form of the various challenges women face while they toil to effectively manage work and home together.

Ancient Vedic culture provided for a very respectable treatment of women in all spheres of the society. Women played a major role in education, local governments and some were even part of state military. The medieval times brought foreign invasions and foreign cultures started influencing the Indian social structure. The times were considered unsafe for women and they were confined to households. These customs slowly became engrained in our culture. A typical example is the matriarchal society of Kerala, which has now been reduced to matrilineal in principle and patriarchal in practice.

Till the turn of the 19th century, men enjoyed a dominant position. But the evolution of India’s social fabric in the 65 years of independence has...