After a week in which saw International Women’s Day and Mothering Sunday, it is important to consider the different expectations women face within their lives. Although there is a great push for equality in the workplace, and rightfully so, unequal expectations in society prevail. Some still see it as the woman’s job to look after the house and children, not an equal responsibility between all the individuals involved.
At the same time, the push for feminism has led to some women, for example – those who choose to follow the ‘traditional’ path of being a stay-at-home mum, be pilloried for holding women back. This is not the case. Children still need to be looked after and it is the decision of the parents if either one of them stay home. Mother or father.
Celebrating the success of all types of women helps to create a world of acceptance and equality. It should not be expected for women and men to return quickly to work after having a child, nor should it be expected for women to work a full day and then do all of the house chores. An even divide between chores in the home creates a greater likelihood of equality in society as it breaks down century-old stereotypes that should not, and cannot, prevail today.
Women who achieve great success within the world of work should also not be celebrated solely because they achieved great things whilst also having children. The same is not largely shown when celebrating a man’s success. Their success within the world of work is due to their hard work. It should not matter if they have children or are planning on having children in the future.
Similarly, for stay-at-home mothers, not having an official job should not be seen as something that needs to be explained. It is a job, just not one that results in an income. Looking after children is difficult and, unless a nanny is used or somewhere for the child to stay late is available, is even harder without someone who is willing and able to balance their work requirements with childcare needs.
Celebrating all types of women, those who are stay-at-home mothers, or scientists, or musicians, working full-time or not, should be done with equal enthusiasm as celebrating male success every day. It helps to create role models for young females to look up to. It also helps to push back against stereotypes or societal expectations in which show women that do it all.