Friday, 28 December 2012

Please don't say 'just' a housewife....

This is the first thought that struck me when I read the creative prompt for Wishlist Wednesday No. 3.

So, the one thing I wish everyone would learn is to recognise and value the abilities and contribution of women whom they brand as 'just a housewife'. Yes, I agree that having a career and yet being able to manage the house efficiently amounts to something. But at the same time, that does not mean that managing a household only, without having a paid job or business / profession amounts to nothing.

I believe that most women would want to have an income of their own, to be able to dispose it off as they please, but some of them might have had to give up this want for a variety of reasons, which, in their minds had a higher priority. And trust me, some of these women who are 'just housewives', have skills which would draw excellent rewards, if they were to use these as paid consultants.

The way some of them manage the relationships between family members - tackling ego clashes, generation gaps, inferiority and superiority complexes, could provide some invaluable lessons for HR heads. This is more relevant for housewives (Can I call them 'homemakers'? - It suits their profile better.), because they are personally available for the family to share (or sometimes 'dump'?) their feelings all the time.

The way they negotiate terms and payments with various service providers can give incredible ideas about what you missed in that all important contract negotiation for business.

I just have to point out an example here. Some years back, in Mumbai, selling stuff in plastic bags was prohibited and there was a fine of Rs.500 for shopkeepers who were found handing out plastic bags. When asked for a bag of her own by a grocery shop owner, this homemaker replied "Can't you be selling cloth bags too? I'm sure a good amount would sell......" Wasn't this a business idea for all practical purposes? Something for which we set up strategic divisions and hire Big 4s or 5s?

Why is how much money you're able to earn the major (or for some people, the only) marker for how relevant you are?

This thought was nicely portrayed in the film 'English Vinglish'. Though the film was mainly about people lacking the knowledge of English being belittled, somewhere, it also highlighted that your ordinary 'housewife' was not 'born to make laddoos'. She could be an 'entrepreneur'. I loved that film.

So people, the next time you're tempted to think of someone as 'just a housewife', think again. She could be the cause why you or your family member or your friend are what you are.

This post is in response to 'Wishlist Wednesday No. 3' posted by Preeti Shenoy on her blog More so, it is dedicated to a woman who impressed my thoughts enough to write it.


  1. I so agree with you Komal.
    I also detest the houswife tag.

    English Vinglish--I loved it. It made me cry. I could so relate to the protagonist.
    I do think the term 'housewife' should be scrapped totally.

    I prefer 'stay at home mom' or 'home maker' (if you don't want to have kids for whatever reasons)
    Thank you for taking part.

    1. Thanks for visiting, Preeti. Actually, thanks for the Wishing Wednesdays, which gave me a chance to express my views, and read other people's views as well.