All Hands On Deck [opinion]

Womenfolk in the country and the world over will this Sunday, May 31, 2015, celebrate Mothers’ Day. The event comes at a time mothers are facing great challenges.

There is no gainsaying that the lot of Cameroonian professional women has improved significantly in the past 50 years. From the pre- and immediate post-independence era when most of them were elementary school teachers or nurses, today’s Cameroonian female professionals stand tall among their male colleagues. Among them are magistrates, justices, barristers at law, university lecturers, journalists, senior police, military and prison officers, public administrators, etc. As a result, the mother-professional increasingly finds herself torn between her official and household functions.

Thus, playing the role of the traditional housewife of yesteryears alone is no longer feasible. It is inconceivable to expect a mother who works to still do all the household chores non-career women carry out like cooking, washing clothes and looking after children. She needs to be assisted by all members of the household like the husband, children and other relatives living with them. Because the circumstances now demand, it is time everyone adopted a gender-sensitive approach to family life.

To continue to insist on particular roles being performed by women, even when they work, is to ignore the fact that the world is evolving fast. Meanwhile, today’s professional women contribute in no small measure to family incomes, paying children’s school fees, assisting in-laws and providing food money. Just like most of their spouses, some of these women go to work and close at the same time.

In order to lessen the burden on them, other members of the household must therefore put hands on deck to help with baby-sitting, laundry, ironing clothes, preparing food and assisting children with school assignments. The era of insisting that particular roles be performed by men, boys, women or girls only, is gone, perhaps for good. To those still dragging their feet in accepting this ‘uncomfortable’ reality, it is time they did so. The earlier, the better for everyone because families must move on as harmonious entities.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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