Are Woman Made for the Working Environment or to Stay at Home?
A couple of months back, at work we hosted our colleagues, business partners and customers from all over Africa and the Middle East at Sage Summit South Africa. Day two of Sage Summit was also International Women's Day, and our Programme Director, Peter Ndoro shared a stat that was released by the United Nations which made me feel so good about being a working woman:
Then, to slap me right back to reality, the very next day, a wonderful guy friend of mine told me that he was going to a gentlemen's club, late in the evening, to sign a major, multi-regional client that he's had his sights on for some time. I am ecstatic that he signed the client, but I also wondered how this would have played out had he been a woman. Would she have been invited to a very lavish gentlemen's club until 2am the next morning to sign this lucrative deal? I know if it had been me, I would have preferred we meet at a market and ogle over beautiful home decor and clothing, then sign the deal. I've actually never heard of an incident like that, but it's not unusual for men to meet late in the evening at a bar, lounge or gentlemen's club to do serious business.
And then, I had an interesting discussion with another male friend, who feels that women should take time off work to raise their kids for a couple of years and then return to the workforce if they wish. I distinctly remember a lady who was sharing her frustration about being unemployable after having spent over a decade as a housewife/full-time mom. I really felt for her, but it also made sense why she wasn't employable. We live in a fast-changing, techno-savvy world which is hard enough to keep up with while you're employed, I can only imagine how foreign the working world would have been to her after taking years off.
Then there's our "God-given" roles and biological make-up. I haven't come across any scripture that says women must take care of the home while men work, probably because I don't read my scriptures much (if you know one, please comment). But, I do know that our biological make-up is different; women are better caregivers and nurturers, so naturally we can take better care of homes and families so that responsibility often lies with us. But, we're also hard workers, intelligent, socially adept, problem-solvers and all that's required to survive the working world, or am I missing something? So then women end up working and being the main caregivers and home managers—it's a lot, but it leaves me in awe of working wives and mothers, ya'll are superhuman (so are the working husbands and fathers who are equal partners)!
If money wasn't an issue, ladies would you prefer being Home Executives instead of being employed or running businesses? And men, would you prefer your wives or partners focus on you and your family or try to balance that with work?