Men and women were born different with their own set of abilities and drawbacks. Men are thought to be masculine and bread-winners and women were there to support men in taking care of families and household. Many histories of the different countries have shown some similar trends of the expected roles of men and women. The status of woman in earlier days has acted as a barrier to take up a male-oriented jobs or task. However, with the change in time and modernization seeping in and improved conditions of woman in the society has encouraged and led to both the gender to perform the same roles.
People’s mind set about the prescribed roles for men and women has been changing. People are now more open to male and females performing same roles based on their potentials and abilities. In the most developed countries, both the gender is given equal opportunities to take up the same role depending on their talents and skills.
Therefore, women given a chance should carry out the same roles.
In the past, women were considered inferior to men. They were treated differently by limiting their chances to outshine their abilities. Women were looked down by the society as well as their families, “in earlier times, women were exploited through every possible means by the society. They suffered a lot of criticism, lacked freedom and stood nowhere next to men. They were even deprived of the basic birthrights of a human being” CITATION Sin14 l 1033 (Singh, 2014). As rightly pointed out by Singh in her journal, women for the most part in almost all the countries were taken advantage of.
They were made forced to keep their mouths shut. They were been questioned on their looks and manners. If a man has two or more wives he is considered as masculine, on the other hand, if woman has affair with two or more men, she is compare to a whore.
The role of man as shown in the society as providing food and security for the family demanded them to work harder. They were given ample of opportunities to climb up the social ladder and prove their manhood. The extent of taking up the roles and standing on the expectations of the society for man became so troublesome that in the process, they burdened woman. For example, In India, the dowry system where the bride has to pay the groom and give him dowry became the cause of death of many women. This I believe is merely because of society’s assigned role to being a man. “Besides, while a large dowry raises the prestige of the bride among her affine, more importantly, a small one can make her life miserable and result in extreme torture and in many cases her murder (e.g. through burn injuries) or suicides CITATION Gee18 l 1033 (Dang, 2018). While agreeing with Geetika Dang in her research ‘Why Dowry Deaths Have Rise in India? I can say that woman have been and is at volatile state limiting them to perform better than man. They are consider as liabilities and someone one whose life should move in and around her husband and family.
In Bhutan, the education system that was prevailed in earlier times around 80’s till early 90’s was monastic education. Young boys were ordained as monks and learned Buddhist scripture. Hardly any girl got the chance or was allowed to enter to scared temples to learn. Even when the introduction of modern education began in 1920s, the opportunity to study was first given to men. The group of six men was sent to Kalimpong, India and study and when they came back they taught to Bhutanese children of forty students comprised of all males (VIII HISTORY BOOK). It was evident that girl was taken for granted. The belief in woman being a bearer of children and taking care of them hindered her to take up any roles and walk in shoulder to shoulder with man.
The prescribed roles of the gender from the society’s perspective played a huge role in limiting woman to carry out same roles but now with the change in time, people who make up the society have accepted women to compete with men. They have opened their minds and welcomed women in different sects of life. Both the gender is seen taking up the same roles and for the most part society seems to be fine with it. Women and men are equally important for a society to functions well. They are biological different but one cannot compare their abilities and potentials based on their gender. Al most all the countries have given equal platform for male and female to show their capabilities. Even a small country like Bhutan does not distinguish between male and female when it comes to perform their roles (CONSITUTION OF BHUTAN)
If I take the case of Bhutan, the progress of women taking up the roles just like men is seen increasing. Initially the political sect of the country was hugely dominated by the males. Hardly any female would show and run for the elections (EVIDENCE). This we can attribute to the notion of the people that they see woman as incompetent to take the decisions for the welfare of the country and the people. They are looked as someone who is juggled up between the assigned roles of women and a leader. What used to be man’s job is now welcoming woman. The increase in the participation on women in the politics shows that they are taking a same role as men. They are now seen as a leader and decision maker of the country.
Women should not be left behind in taking the responsibilities of men just because she is fragile or more emotional than men. There are woman who single handedly have taken care of children as well financial supported her family. There are women who have reached to the moon. Women have started excelling in the fields of sports and other areas. Women are seen fighting for their countries. Many women are holding high positions in big companies. It’s just the matter of considering equal and giving equal opportunities for woman to take up same role and man. Woman should take up man’s role as a challenge and they are capable of anything that is on their way.
We have women holding high posts and equally getting paid like man at high posts. We also have women in teaching field, private sectors and an independent entrepreneur. Nevertheless ladies are also taking caring of family as a single mother. If woman can take care of home, family, and children and do a job at the same time, she definitely has the abilities to perform any role assigned to her.
What used to be male’s job such as in decision- making oriented jobs, for example politics are no longer limited to males only. Woman has made a mark by becoming ministers, local leader and party president. We had a woman minister for Ministry of Work and Human Settlements from 2013-2018 and now we have woman as Health Minister. Bhutan also had first female Party President. All these facts prove that women are equally shouldering the responsibilities of family by being employed.
Bhutan did and still has more males earning than females. Men are usually the bread earner for the family but not a sole bread earner. There is change in pattern of who is earning for the family. Woman now have made their choices. They are in most part equally earning and making their stand as an independent woman and not having to depend on man for their survival.
It can rightly be said that in the past, man used to be sole bread winners. Woman stayed home and took care of family. Until 90s, Bhutan was an agrarian society; most of the heavy work was done by man. They traveled across the places to sell their products and earn income for the family. Bhutan’s geographical terrain could be one factor that attributed which made man an earner. This is because, the economy system of the country was barter system and people were required to walk for days to exchange their goods. Woman being considered as weak and fragile kept them at home and man walked to bring things for family. The culture so developed that woman became depended on man for basic needs.
Although there are more men earning than women in Bhutan, yet women are gradually becoming bread- winners too. The shift from being a home maker to wage earner is seen. It is not only male who work and earn, we have women in different fields working and supporting their families. Of the 26,611 Civil Servants as on 31st December 2015, 9,228 are female Civil Servants constituting 34.68% of the total Civil Servant’s strength (Civil Servants Statistics , 2015). As per the report of Royal Civil Service Commission of Bhutan, the female enrolled in civil service has increased since 2002. In 2017, there were 10, 225 female civil servants (Civil Service Statistics , 2017 ). The data clearly shows that women are making their way as earners, yet in 2015, 65.32 % civil servants are males, thus making men an income generator for the family. These statistics though are based on real data provided by the government, but women working at homes and business women are not included. I know such woman who design clothes and does business online thus making her living. In villages, woman who have not got the opportunities to study also earn their living by working in the field of others, growing crops, collecting mushrooms from the forests and weaving clothes to support the family. They no longer are depended on their spouses for their expenditure. Now in most houses in Bhutan, you will either see both husband and wife taking up jobs or see woman working from home.
It is true that men are usually income generator for the family. There is no denying of it. I have seen many women going through difficult situation of giving up as the earner for the family. There are situations where wives have to give up their jobs because their partners are insecure or feeling inferior to their wives. In most cases, women are demanded to sacrifice for their family and partners. If a woman chooses to be a mother and has no one to take care of the child, woman has to give up her job to take care of child. All these obligations and working to secure one’s relationship has pulled back most women from being earner and leaving men as earner. Jagannathan in her article where she used the interviews of group of men about their status as well as their wives regarding who is earning and how they feel about their wives earning of Reid an associate professor at McMaster University in Canada clearly shows how insecure and unacceptable men are when it comes to wives earning. “I said to her, ‘if you take your job and net out all of the day care expenses and net out all of the extra tax that we have to pay because you work, we’d fundamentally be making the same amount of money between us,” said one husband whose wife worked full-time and contributed 30% of their family income. CITATION Jag18 l 1033 (Jagannathan, 2018)