"People think at the end of the day that a man is the only answer [to fulfillment]. Actually a job is better for me." -- Princess Diana
"A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform." -- Diane Mariechild
"A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts."-- Nancy Rathburn
I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint -- and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you." - Oprah Winfrey
Many times I wonder why she should work - your friend, wife, mother, mother-in-law, daughter, sister, any woman. After all, society accepts it if a woman stays home to look after her family's needs. And to try and juggle the responsibilities of home with work requires a feat of endurance, day after day. It's not an easy world out there, at the workplace, the public arena. A woman often must endure more than anyone can possibly think, dream, imagine.
A lot of times I'm asked and ask myself why a woman should work despite all of this.
Here's the thing...
I know what it takes for most women to answer that question and make peace with her answer.
I know what it takes for most women to share her answer with the world, and deal with all that her response entails.
I know what it takes for most women to action her answer on a daily basis, and deal with all that comes her way.
And if "she" says,
She wants to work
She loves to work
She believes in her work
It is just not enough.
So I listed down 15+ responses (in no particular order of importance) for the case and cause of why she should work.
1) She earns
Financial independence can be one of the most important variables that influence the quality of a woman's life. It is liberating for her to make money and spend it how she pleases, without having to ask anyone for it.
2) She learns
Learning is one of the key elements to personal and professional growth and life, and sets the limit to what you can dream, achieve and think. Her general knowledge improves - just by being part of a world out of the four walls, you observe, listen and can comprehend a lot more.
3) She forms her own identity
She is able to develop an identity that is independent of personal relationships and associations. There's no telling how important it is for her self-confidence and self-worth.
4) She creates employment for others
In working outside the home she creates employment for other women by hiring a cook, cleaner, nanny and so on to help manage her household. These working women also get to improve their financial standing.
5) She enriches her understanding of the world
By interacting with a multitude of people and participating in diverse life experiences she is enriches her understanding of self, people, the world and life. They open her mind, views, opinions and perspectives.
6) She feels better about herself
Her self-esteem increases significantly. In navigating different spheres of life, she just feels so much surer of yourself
7) She is seen in a new light by her family
Seeing her in her professional role, he family appreciates her more and respects her for the multi-faceted person that she is.
8) She helps the economy
She is a positive contributor to the economy and with control over what she can buy, she is someone businesses want to woo. She pumps money into the economy and boosts money circulation.
9) She is a role model
Many of my role models are everyday working women who are trying and striving to make it work every single day. She can inspire someone somewhere just by being a live example of "it is possible, you can do it"
10) She has better life skills
She learns a lot of key "life skills" such as time management, communication, negotiation, saying no. Her understanding of human behaviour and how the real-world really operates only gets enhanced.
11) She doesn't sweat the small stuff
She tends to let go of a lot of excess baggage - many times it is simply because she doesn't have the time to delve into the past or worry about the future or obsess about piffling details.
12) She has more to teach her family
Other than being a good role model, she has a lot to share about what it takes to succeed in the world. She can teach the family the value of independence and inter-dependence.
13) She understands the value of money
Now that she works to earn it, she (hopefully) understands and appreciates the value of money a lot more.
14) She appreciates others in her life more
She knows first-hand what the challenges of working for the long haul in an office are and she is more empathetic to her spouse (of course it needs to work both ways). She also appreciates her support system a lot more - her parents, teachers, supporters and advocates, whoever they may be.
15) She understands the value of time
She knows how limited it is and therefore makes the best possible use of it.
16) She makes better decisions
She is better enabled, equipped and empowered to make decisions -- simply because she knows that she has a choice.
17) She leaves a greater personal legacy
Chances are she will leave a richer legacy (financial and otherwise) for forthcoming generations.
It does not matter what work she does.
It does not matter where she works.
It does not matter how she works.
It does not matter how long she works.
What matters is that SHE WORKS.
Today, tomorrow and the day after.
What matters is that her work makes a difference to her life and to those of the people around her.
A version of this post first appeared here