The Stigma of Being a South Asian Housewife

A large proportion of you reading this will have mothers who take on the “housewife” role but as times are changing, with our generation, that won’t be the case. Our ancestors were brought up to think that women should stay at home to cook, clean and have children and carry out other housewife duties, while the man of the house would work and bring in the income. 

There’s a lot of factors that contributed to this idea. The main ones being that women in our society are used to being oppressed and controlled by men. A woman shouldn’t have her own money, right? A woman should rely on and ask her husband to pay for her needs and wants, right? 

I’ve had a few people say to me before that two working parents don’t raise kids as well and that one parent should be spending all their time with their kids. I don’t believe that. It’s just as much a man’s responsibility to look after the kids as it is a woman’s and it’s just as much a man’s responsibility to do basic house chores as it is a woman’s. Everything should be equally split and it should have always been like that. Two working parents who equally split the roles and jobs are more than capable of raising good children.

Looking at it from a man’s perspective, will we again create a generation of men who work themselves into the ground to provide for their parents, wife and kids? A man out working too hard can develop anxiety and depression and a woman stuck at home for 5, 6 or even 7 days a week can develop anxiety and depression. 

The older generations lacked balance. A man shouldn’t be solely responsible for income and I think you would all agree that in this day and age it is difficult to survive on one parents’ income. The world is changing, people are changing.

If you’re a woman reading this and you’re married, I’m assuming you work. If you’re a woman reading this and you’re not married, I’m assuming you will work after marriage. If you’re a girl reading this and you have dreams and hopes, don’t give them up after marriage. We did that. We broke the stigma. 

Let’s not raise our daughters to think that being a housewife is all there is to life, because it isn’t. 

By Aaisha Sabir 

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