My mother did a lot of work. So also my aunt. They led a very busy, active life. My mother-in-law does a lot of work. I am always amazed at how much work she does. My mother, aunt and mom-in-law never received/receive any money for their work. Yet they did immensely valuable work.
I love women who work. At homes, in the fields, in crowded markets, in classrooms, in swanky air-conditioned newsrooms, in the cockpit, in operation theatres, on the stage, at the potter’s wheel and in front of the camera. I simply love women working. On my way to office, I sometimes stop to say hello to Champa Ben. She sells fruits to earn her living. She’s always cheerful and on many occasions she gives me an orange or a banana just like that to have a ‘fruitful’ journey. Both of us work to earn our living. The dusty street is her workplace. Mine with modern amenities and state-of-the art technology is different from hers. Yet there’s an unspoken bond between us. We revel in our work. In more than one way, our work defines us. As women, as individuals.
I love my cook Taraben who goes to five different houses in a day. Her bi-cycle is her faithful companion. She never complains about her struggles, long day at work. She always embraces work with a smile.
There’s nothing low/high about work. Whatever we do with our hands is something we all must celebrate. Every work involves some kind of body-mind coordination and concentration. To work is to be closer to the earth, to the universe. Even as the global economy faces challenges in many countries, the women workforce will face many hardships and challenges in the years ahead. But consider yourself lucky if you enjoy your work — whether at home or office.
And the time has come when we must sensitize our men, women and children to celebrate the works done by our women at home. It’s tough to be a good journalist, a good teacher or doctor. Similarly, it’s also tough to be a good homemaker. Economics might not recognize this as ‘labour’. But a lot goes into the making of a good homemaker. My father always told us as young girls, “If you want to be a home-maker, it’s perfectly fine. But make sure you excel at it.”
The world around us needs to be sensitive about the working women. We need to create safe homes and secure workplaces so that women can express their creativity, strength and imagination through their work.
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, here’s to the honey bees of the world. Let the world revel in the sweetness of our hard work.