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Shubhangini Shaktawat
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Do gender stereotypes play a role in the professions we choose?
As we all know, gender stereotypes in our society are mostly misogynistic. Also, these very misogynistic stereotypes have affected all spheres of living for the women population, most importantly, their progress and development has become stunted. A very important aspect of development and advancement for women is their career or profession. Work choices or choice of profession for women is something that is largely dependent on stereotypes. Support from family and colleagues are really looked for and searched while picking up a career option, which if lacks, the candidate is forced to drop the idea.
A large population of young women shifts to Bombay, the city of dreams after completing their graduation in search of a job in the entertainment industry. There are two main reasons why these women return empty-handed to their home-towns, firstly because families do not support this line of career as they do not want their girls to be actresses or models. In our society modeling or acting is respected only as far as we talk about the well-established stars, not beginners or struggling actors. Another reason is the high level of competition and the demands of the entertainment industry from the female candidates. It is not easy to meet their needs and demands. Our entertainment industry has restricted women to merely zero-figure, fair, beautiful, clear-skinned women mostly.
Women are usually expected to take up careers that help in their household life, for example teaching related professions. The society thinks handling children in school will prepare them to raise their own children in their personal life. Also, women are mistaken for taking up jobs that don’t require physical fitness, mental fitness, strategy, exertion, etc. It is the society that limits them to certain jobs. It makes it very difficult for us all to make decisions and finalize the job that one should take up or look forward to.
Women are capable enough to work in the household, as well as outside of it. Women are capable enough to be sportspersons as well as psychologists, social workers as well as defense service officers, government officials as well as doctors, politicians as well as homemakers. It is their choice to make, not the society’s but the decision they take up is indirectly affected by the stereotypes made by the society, as their families follow them, as well as the people around them.
A woman myself,
Shubhangini Shaktawat