- Women have been homemakers for centuries. They were domesticated and raised children. For all of you reading this, things have changed thankfully. It has taken hundreds of years for incredible men and women to get us where we are today. In a world where there are millions of women working, these women hold various positions of power across the globe. We are moving in the right direction each day, although things are not perfect.Why is it that pregnancies are considered a reason women cannot work? Women who are pregnant have been able to work in factories, manage businesses, travel, manage projects, and even help at home. They also had the opportunity to deliver healthy babies. Medical supervision is still necessary. That’s obviously the priority. However, as long as she is considered fit enough to work and takes sufficient care to keep her safe and comfortable, there is no reason to debate whether women should be allowed to work during pregnancies. Jacinda Ardern was pregnant when she was sworn into office in New Zealand and gave birth within the first few months. There is no doubt that women can lead countries while pregnant.
Being a twin mom, I can tell you that it is not easy to work through pregnancy. Every day I find myself more motivated to help others at work. There are small changes one can make to the routine. Regular doctor visits and scans, regular exercise and healthy eating habits, proper sleep, and careful commutes are all important. These are all things that every working woman should do.
Are Indian women paying a motherhood wage penalty?
It is our responsibility as women to manage our work lives. Pregnancies can be made by the mother alone. The decision to work through or take a break during pregnancy is her choice. I have found that working through every stage of my pregnancy has made me happier, more fit, and more fulfilled. Although it works differently for each woman, if you find your work inspiring, there is no reason to stop you from following your dream.
We must also allow pregnant women to work. The laws must allow women to take care of themselves, have flexibility with their schedules, and be treated equally, depending on the industry. The Maternity (Amendment) Bill 2017 was passed in India. It increased the paid maternity leave for women from 12 to 26 weeks. This made it the third-largest global law. It is only available to employees of companies with 10 or more employees. It is therefore a ‘phantom law’ that only benefits the elite. Large-scale laws that benefit more women are needed in order to have an on-ground effect.
Happier mothers raise happier children, and society is happier. Every woman should be able to choose happiness, starting with her pregnancy.