i came accross a very interesting article written by Maria Zain in Forward magazine (Issue 41, Nov 2009); entitled The Dying Birth Rate - and its abstract debate.
i will not be nagging about how exactly men and women are responsible for the declining birth rate, etc, but i would like to share a very interesting point that really caught my attention..
"for women who want to stay at home for the sake of their children, they should be allowed to, without being belittled or marginalised. feminists have been busy campaigning for equal rights to education and employment. so women should have the equal rights to be home-makers if they wish to be" Maria Zain
being forced to go to work
i heard too many opinions regarding this issue from my colleagues. and don't be surprise if i can conclude that 3/4 of them have a dream of becoming a housewife. some may find it as the best way to find serenity, and the other may find it as a way out from their stressful life as a student (i.e. quit from studies, get married and stay at home. is it as simple as this?).
apparently, most women out there are being forced to go to work, especially due to the social expectation, where women should venture outside of their homes and search for employment. familiar with these statements?
"it's good to work"
"it's great to earn money, especially when you had already put all your effort in your studies. if you don't go to work, it will be such a waste."
"it's for your own good. at least you will have 'back up' if something happen to your spouse"
successful women are always seen as those depicted with flourishing careers, a late marriage and even later children. while women who stay at home, cook family meals and keep the house clean are perceived as uneducated and not have the qualification to get a job.
it's pretty pathetic that most of the women out there work because the surrounding expect them to work (not because of their own passion or interest). their parents expect them to work. their in laws expect them to work, the government expect them to work, and even sometimes the husband expect them to work as well. in short, women are being discouraged from taking care of their family home and their children.
make your own choice
it doesn't matter whether a woman goes to work or not. it is just a matter of how the woman play her roles effectively, either at the office or at home. it would be great if a woman can jump into the society, contribute her skills and wisdom for the betterment of the ummah; but to look down on those who stay at home, doing the full-time childbearing chores; is totally not a right thing to do. don't forget that the "good housewives" are the ones that contribute in creating a loving environment at home and producing more high quality human capitals to our nation for the next generation.
thus, we should not expect that every woman to go to work nor every woman should be a housewife because every individual is different, thus making every family unique. instead, make your own choice. figure out which will bring out the best within you. there is no right or wrong answer in this case. create better lines for open communication within the marriage so that you and your spouse will come to a consensus to make the best decision.
note: me? please don't ask ^_^. now, i am still struggling to finalize the proposal for my final year project. having 3 minutes of consultation with prof kamaruzaman is so worth it. even though we have to make zillions of appoinments (the price we have to pay since he is the campus director ^_^), i am so glad to have him as my supervisor (mode bersemangat). plus, have to work on our resume during this semester break. resume? (diminishing the thought of becoming a housewife??? haha)