Short Essay on Mobility of Women – Societies are not equally mobile. Similarly men and women who build societies are also not equally mobile. For centuries, only men took the lead in mobility and most of the women simply followed them. Women have traditionally achieved mobility mainly through marriage.
Married women could work in “suitable” occupations but the occupational statuses of these women were not too far beneath the occupational statuses of their husbands. But only an insignificant number of women gained social status through occupation. In the Indian context, women very rarely entered the occupational fields up to the beginning of the 20th century.
Today, things have changed. Women are now claiming equal occupational opportunity. Occupations do provide women with a mobility ladder apart from marriage. Women are showing dramatic increases in their presence in the professions not only in the West but even in the developing countries like India.
Women students were found in an incredibly smaller number in the professional courses such as law, engineering, medicine, pharmacy, polytechnics etc., some 30-35 years ago in India. Today, they are found pursuing these courses in an almost equal number on par with men students.
In most of the industrialised and urbanised countries, career and mobility patterns for men and women are growing almost equally. Even then, differences remain. Majority of working wives still judge their class position by their husband’s occupations.
At the same time, there is a growing number of working wives using both their own and their husband’s occupations in judging their class. An experience felt everywhere is that the career mobility of married women is still greatly handicapped by household duties and child-bearing with its career interruptions. “True equality in career mobility will demand fundamental changes in both our familial and our politico-economic institutions.”