Give her the power of choice – that day is women’s day!
Over the years, I have seen, interacted and worked with many bright, young, talented girls. As students, they were studious; smart; quick learners; good communicators; courageous to stand up and ask questions. During the group discussions, they give a terrific fight to the boys. They come across as fiercely competitive and wanting to achieve something in their career and life.
They prepare intensely, demonstrate their communication and conceptual abilities and bag interesting career opportunities. They ask for more challenges and they have an urge to prove themselves.
When the going is good and when they are about to dream to achieve bigger goals, comes the event called ‘marriage’. When this happens, there are different girls who take it differently.
Some talented girls are thrilled and happily prepare themselves for married life and instantly give up their career dreams. They love the idea of setting up a family!
There are some who try balancing both, put up a mild fight; but then get adjusted to the idea of marital sacrifice – that is, giving up their career dreams.
There are a few girls who fight to retain their career dreams.
The entire society pounces on this last category to convince or force them to give up. The reasons one gets to hear are: “the groom does not like you working” (reasons why he says so unknown; insecurity, ego, fear of independence, desire for power?), or “in-laws want you to take care of the family”. They may go a step further and demeaningly ask “will you build castles with the paltry salary that you earn?”. The girl feebly tries to say that her career is not just to make money, but no one listens!
Mothers try to convince them saying “we can’t get a better boy than this”; colleagues question her asking “why are you so adamant?” Amidst this intense noise all around, the girl feels lonely and wants to shout out “will you please not even ask me for my choice?”…the loudest shout sprouting out from the heart does not cross the throttled throat and the marital knot is tied.
One more bundle of talent gets stifled for life!
Later on, organizations keep running analytics on gender diversity; women managers at middle level; women leaders on the board; this is all post-mortem.
Nip the problem in the bud; give the girl the power of choice early in her life. That is true respect and love!
– Dr. Raj