How many modern women will subscribe to the views expressed by Seema Kini in her article “Stay-at-home mom” (Open Page, Jan. 31) is a million-dollar question. With women catching up in every sphere, their staying away from home has become inevitable. That does not mean they neglect their offspring. They cannot enjoy the company of their children as much as housewives do but they do compensate qualitatively in several other ways.

K. Nehru Patnaik,

Visakhapatnam

The article is interesting, coming as it does when feminism is talked about in a much louder voice than ever before. The joy a mother gets on looking after her child after resigning her job has been lucidly narrated by her. But she should bear in mind that to achieve something, we have to sacrifice something. There are many women who regret giving up their jobs after marriage. If the family environment is conducive and help is forthcoming from family members, especially elders, a woman can go for a job. Also, in many families, women need a job.

Women, after acquiring high educational qualifications, should not be forced to remain at home. Their knowledge goes unutilised. This is not to find fault with the mother who finds pleasure in looking after her children. But what is desirable or not depends on the priorities of families.

V. Pandy,

Tuticorin

There can be no generalisation on whether or not women should go to work. Family traditions, cultural practices of a community, the outlook of elders in the family, the attitude of spouse, and the need to increase family income vary.

On the one hand, additional income leads to better living conditions. On the other, there is pressure on the family, resulting in increased tension for women on account of household duties. Therefore, it is the circumstances and the attitude of the families concerned which should determine whether a woman should go to work or not.

A. Varnika Harini,

Bangalore

Women are taking pride in entering fields which were once considered male bastions. But is proving that women can do everything men can gender equality? Gender equality is about safeguarding their values, freedom and uniqueness.

T.M. Senapathi,

Chennai

In a society where female foeticide is rampant and domestic violence is common, one cannot blame women for wanting to be financially independent. Why should women alone be burdened with the responsibility of safeguarding the interests of the family? And why should women alone face the family-versus-career dilemma? Feminism is not about women “storming the male bastion” but about the freedom to make their own choices.

Remya Ramanath,

Alappuzha

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