"Do women give up their career pursuits after they are married?"

womencareerUtpala Chowdhury, 29 years-old, is a senior flight attendant with a leading domestic airline. Married to Harish Choudhury, a general manager in a multinational PR agency, Utpala is an ambitious young lady. After spending a couple of more years in the airline industry, she wants to start her own airhostess training academy, along with her husband. Utpala is sure of one thing – never to let her marital life suffer due to worklife pressures.

“I have known Harish 3 years before we got married, ever since I was working as an airhostess and he has always encouraged me to work after our marriage. In fact, when both husband and wife share a common vision of working together at some point of life, there’s so much to look forward to and I am sure it will be a lot fun,” says Utpala.

Jaya Goswami, a mother of two young children, works as an Assistant Design Head in an apparel house in Gurgaon says, “I gave up working when my kids were really young. It is the mother who can play a significant role in shaping the lives of her children. The foundation to a good life can be built when they are young and this can be only attained when the mother devotes whole-heartedly to this pursuit at home and not by going to work.”

In most Indian households, it is seen today that the wife is a working woman. Rising cost of living, children’s educational expenditure and the need for greater savings are some of the primary reasons why a woman no longer wants to be tagged as a housewife, but a working member in the family. Besides, women have become far more ambitious and have excelled in various professional roles, which they do not hesitate to pursue after their marriage.

“In a middle-class family like ours, where my in-laws stay with us, we need to have a double-income structure. Even though I was not very keen on working as I am not very well-qualified, I had to grab a job, as it is difficult to run the house with just my husband’s salary. Besides, the job gives me a sense of self-independence too,” says Sarita Singh, who works as a Receptionist in a lifestyle magazine office.
Though this may be the popular trend, not all married women opt for the working role.

Chandni Sehgal has been married for over a year and spends the entire day watching television or surfing the Net, once her husband leaves for office. “Earlier, I used to be really active in theatre and earn decent money out of it. After marriage, I have got used to household activities and am really not interested in pursuing theatre professionally, as I feel it is like a social stigma for a married woman to pursue such an activity.”

Vinita Seth, who just got married six months back has this to say, “My husband does not want me to work, as he feels he is earning enough so that I do not need to work. Though I used to work as a TV presenter earlier, I have given it up now, as my husband wants me to concentrate on household work and pursue my hobbies and things that I have always wanted to do. I am happy not doing anything, but enjoying life, as long as it lasts.”

Whether to work or not, after marriage, is a woman’s completely personal choice. It is always a good idea for a woman to follow her career pursuits, even after her marriage, as it allows her to live her dreams and aspirations and also pave way for her financial independence as well as she can contribute substantially to wealth generation in the household, in this process.


- Suniet Bezbaroowa (views expressed in the article are that of the author)


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