Better to be a Carrier Woman or Housewife or Both?

Gender equality,  as what it had been represented in general,  defines about enjoying equal treatment and empowerment towards both women and men in terms of rights, benefits, opportunities and obligations on their diverse roles in society. It means that both women and men are getting equal participation in decision-making, equal ability for exercising their human rights, equal access to control resources and the benefits of development and equal opportunities in employment and other aspects of their livelihoods. Based on the reports, the cause for the world’s majority poverty are coming from women, which there is around 70% of the people who lives in an extreme poverty, on less than US$1 a day, are mostly coming from girls and women. Another reason why gender equality should have to be concerned more, especially for women, is coming from political aspect about the rights to vote. For instance is coming from Saudi Arabia, where women are not given their rights to vote. The same is happened from USA right wing commentators who said that women should never have been given the right to vote. That is why this is as a big challenge to expand the application of gender equality to all women in the world



Gender issues will appear in a condition where the measure of a specific gender is less than another gender in certain places (for instance is the population of women in a certain area lesser than population of men), or a situation where there is a hierarchy in the role that each gender should have to take because of a custom in that place (this case is mostly coming from rural areas). Thus these kinds of conditions make women get less access than men regarding to productive resources, services and opportunities, such as like land, livestock, financial services and education. And I already had this kind of experience related to the second factor about gender equality where there is hierarchy within this gender roles, especially in Bataknese culture. When I went to my village and all the parents were talking about how their children (especially their daughters) had been succeed on their educations, suddenly a man that lives on this village said, “I do not think that women should have to be given higher education, since in the end they will always appear in the kitchen and should have to be good housewife” I was getting upset after I heard what he said, however on second thought, I think part of what he said is true, that is a good thing if we got higher education and be as a woman who has good carrier, but when we already get married and all of those house work being done by our own husband, it feels like it is kinda weird for me, and of course for the society around us (mainly in Batak culture), they will think that we as women are too ambitious with what we want for our carrier while on the same time we already failed as the “real women” regarding to our roles in society (that still used “old-fashioned” style, and Batak culture is one of these society).

So, what do you think? We should have to follow gender roles in this modern society like what is happened today,

or we should have to follow what society so they will see us as a “good women”

or we can do both to balance it??




Nurhayati Pakpahan



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