Mother’s Day: A Day to Rethink Gender Roles in Today’s Society

Every year we celebrate this day to honour our mothers. One might argue and rightly say that we do not need a day to remind ourselves how precious mothers are and that her selfless love and service must be appreciated every day.

Mothers are considered as God’s angels on earth. But don’t you think about putting her in the place of God instead of a human, we are taking away her happiness and liberty. We all know how important her role is in nurturing a baby but shouldn’t this responsibility be equally divided between father and mother? Why is it that a child is asked to learn love and respect from the mother and to acquire the quality of being strong and independent from the father? Why is it that the gender roles are so stereotyped in raising a baby? Why it’s only the women who are asked to make personal and professional sacrifices to raise a child?

Of course, there have been changes in the way female’s role in the society is seen but even now our country’s female Labour Force Participation (LFPR) is abysmally low at 23.3% (2017-18).  Working women are often asked to leave their work after their marriage and more, when they acquire motherhood. Even strong and independent women sacrifice their professional life to take care of their babies. Is it not the fault of the society that raised its daughter with this mindset of sacrificing all her needs and desires after she becomes a mother? Isn’t 9 months of pregnancy where a woman goes through changes in her body and mind enough? Why through all these years we have made the mother’s image as Goddess of sacrifices? Why a woman is meant to be incomplete if she hasn’t experienced motherhood? Don’t we need to ponder about this?

In today’s time, mother’s day has become a brand in this capitalist world. We can see large hoardings of sale and discount in every shop and mall on this day. But this branding itself is also limited to decors, food, dresses, gift items etc., again in many ways trying to stereotype the gender roles. Showing love on social media rather in person has become a new norm. But posting a picture with mother on social media, taking them out for dinner and giving them presents are not enough. What is truly needed is that we recognize the immense sacrifices that a mother makes in her life and love and respect her for that throughout our lives.

We should also learn to respect and admire the single mothers who are taking care of their kids independently, those unmarried mothers who show the exemplary courage to bring up their children by breaking the so-called ‘Sanskari chain’ of society, the working mothers who are working day and night to give a brighter future to their children, all the mothers who are forced to enter into prostitution just to earn for their children, all the mothers who work day in and out as maids in others houses so that they can bring food to their home,  all those mothers who decided not to have a child so that they can bring someone else’s to their home and give them a future, and those also who love their dogs, cats or any other animals like a mother does. Also, Happy Mother’s Day to all single fathers who break the stereotyped gender roles and raise their child as mother and father both. Being a mother doesn’t mean that a child should be a part of the body but should be an inseparable part of life. Furthermore, this day should be celebrated just not with own mother but one should look around the society and see there are some mothers who don’t know that this day even exists. It should be celebrated with them too. They are the one who needs to be appreciated as they raise their child in all adverse condition one can imagine.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Trisha is a Research Scholar at the Center of European and Latin American Studies Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi

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