There are no second thoughts about the fact that stable economies in the world are those where both men and women contribute equally in the workforce. Considering the biological constraints of pregnancy and motherhood, it sometimes becomes difficult for the women to be that active in the workforce as before children. While pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes, the entire responsibility of raising a child is also laid on the shoulders of a mother. Many women quit work when they are young mothers because they are left with no choice in patriarchal societies. Since there is no one else who is willing to share the responsibilities, the contribution of women in the workforce slows down.
Even if they want to work, the women are not provided with supporting facilities that would aid their smooth functioning at work. Many places in Pakistan do not offer daycare services at all. Those which do have barely no facilities required for a child to be raised in a healthy and hygienic way. Not every woman has the luxury of giving up on everything and just sitting home raising a child. Many have the luxury of making their life decisions themselves and want to remain useful citizens even after their domestic duties.
But what should these women do? If there is no daycare, are they allowed to bring their children to the workplace? While we see New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Adern bringing her child to the UN event, we have examples in Pakistan where a woman parliamentarian was asked not to continue the session because she brought her child along. Same is the case with many other countries which have a developing economy.
Not only are the women barred from taking their children to the workplace, they are also looked down upon for taking the children to official events. Recently Nighat Dad, a famous human rights activist and lawyer, mentioned her personal experience when her daughter as not allowed on an official event. What is particularly heartening about this otherwise insensitive discrimination in Nighat Dad deciding to build an organization where women participants could bring their children to the events.
After being refused by HR western org to take my 12 years along with me to their event, I am feeling so proud of running a small feminist organisation which gives space to its women participants who can bring their children to days long events and that too in limited resources. pic.twitter.com/ziG6Ohh212
— Nighat Dad (@nighatdad) September 20, 2019
While women are mostly blamed for ‘wasting’ their degrees and not contributing to the workforce, it is important for society to facilitate mothers in the workplace. Not only should they be provided with proper childcare facilities, but they should also not be discriminated on the basis of bringing their children along to official gatherings, events etc.. As much as women play a role in maintaining the population balance through reproduction, their brains also need to be put into good use.
If 51% population of a country is not able to work as much as their male counterparts, what do you expect in terms of the betterment of an otherwise frailing economy? In order to add to the country’s productivity, women should be facilitated to give their best in offices in which their mental peace plays an important role.