One of the most underrated often undermined overworked and often unpaid though vitally important sections of the population are the housewives. Today is being observed as World Housewives Day to recognize the importance of stay-at-home wives and mothers. These wonderful, caring people, build and enrich strong family environments. They help to instill family values and good character. We know that a good family is the nucleus of a good society and the nucleus of a good family is the housewife or the mother, with some today playing courageous roles as working women, housewives and mothers.
According to a website, housewife is largely an old term. It dates back to the era when one income could support the family to live fairly comfortably. It was also a time when in most countries women did not have equal rights. While these days are long gone, women’s views of working or staying at home, fall on both sides of the fence. The decision to be a “housewife”, or stay-at-home mother, is still preferred by many. Unfortunately, income needs often necessitate going to work.
Today Sri Lanka joins the international community in felicitating the sacrificial women who choose to stay at home and tend to the house and family.
Every father should celebrate this day by saying a special thank you to the wife and mother
for staying home for the family during the child rearing years. Without a doubt, our children grew up much better for it. And, husbands benefitted by the many sacrifices she made by staying home. A vital factor for the stay home mother was at least one year or possiblly two years of breast feeding, turning blood into milk, to lay the foundation for a happy and hard working child.
In this era of an unprecedented worldwide battle for gender equality with the world’s most powerful country, the United States likely to produce its first female President next week men need to realize there is still far too much male chauvinism in the world, even in religions. For instance of the world’s 62 super billionaires only seven are women. A similar pattern is seen in the fortune 500 companies where only a small number are headed by women.
Men and husbands or fathers need to become aware today that if they are to hire domestic aides to look after their children, for cooking and house cleaning, washing clothes and other hard work they would have to pay about Rs.50,000 a month. More so the dimension of dedication and honesty and commitment and self-sacrificial spirit even in the best of domestic aides would not be even a fraction of what a housewife or mother could give.
For Sri Lanka on a day like this we need to also reflect on the continuing plight of more than one million girls or women—most of them wives and mothers, who are labouring as housemaids or glorified slaves mainly in Middle-Eastern countries.While highest level politicians, their lackeys and top officials are plundering billions from the country it is a tragic shame that Sri Lanka’s main source of revenue of about seven billion US dollars annually is largely from housemaids who are working like slaves abroad and are often physically or sexually abused. On page 12 of the Daily Mirror today we splash a story of how a Sri Lankan mother was mysteriously killed while working in Kuwait and her body parts were sold.
We hope the national government’s five-year economic development strategy which includes providing tens of thousands of jobs for rural men and women—would help reduce the number of women or girls who are forced to go abroad for jobs because of the lack of proper opportunities here.