Working women whose husbands always dodge the washing up could always move to Austria. The government there is planning to make it a law for men to do half of the housework. Refusal could be used as grounds by the wives to go to court!
The law which would apply only to working couples has a strong chance to being approved by the Austrian Parliament in a few weeks time. One of the opposition parties was skeptical about the whole idea. There are many problems facing women but instead we get this crazy proposal, said a spokesman of the Freedom Party.
Also, the Indian press recently reported that a woman Member of Parliament (MP), Saroj Khaparde has introduced "The Housewives Compulsory Weekly Holiday Bill" in parliament, proposing to relieve millions of Indian housewives from their dreary household tasks once a week. If the MP has her way, housewives across India will, by law, get a weekly one-day holiday when their husbands will have to do all the domestic chores. I am sure that many working women around the globe would love to have such laws.
When both the husband and wife are working, it does become a bit of a bother. For those who don't have a helper, as is the case of many in the West, the problem of house-keeping becomes acute. Often the wife is too tired to cook or later to clean. The husband would love to have a hot meal. In the age of modern microwave ovens it is easy to cook a fast meal. However, to go through the motions of cooking after a hard day's work is not what a woman relishes.
What is to be done? Women would love to have their husbands give them a helping hand in the kitchen. Added to that would be another request to help clean up and tidy up the house. I don't think there are many husbands who would love that. However, in the case of working couples, the woman is also sacrificing by doing both office and household work.
The general perception about the Arab male is that he is the master of the house. Yes, in the Arab world it is mainly the husband who is the bread-winner. He is looked upon as the "Si Al Asayed" or the supreme in the house. However, Arab women too have a great say in what goes on.
It is not the modern Arab women but also those during our grandmothers' time. They were listened to by their men folk. The deep respect for mothers as evidenced by our Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) teaching: "Heaven lies under the feet of the mother" itself is a beacon of light that focuses on the importance of women and respect that should be given to them. And sharing and cooperating with their household work is one of them.
Again, while we are on the subject of women, I would like to let our readers know that a new radio station is born in Britain. But it is different from others. It will be a station run by women (and of course men too!) and will give a woman's view of the world. The station to be called Viva will discuss news from "a woman's perspective." What, for example, would be women's views on politics?
Women complain that the news is presently dominated by a dull agenda and too much sport. The directors of the station are promising to squint at the world through a female window. The women promise a focus on issues from a different perspective. They promise lively talk shows and interviews with "people who will be challenging". Viva want male listeners too and as such will tailor their programs for a male audience too.
What is striking about the whole thing is the challenge that these ladies are ready to face. In the West, because of a superior education and an atmosphere which encourages creativity, such types of notions and ideas turn into reality. Communication, therefore, becomes vital for them. It is in this type of atmosphere that societies thrive and prosper.
I am sure that there are many females in the Arab world who have similar or even better ideas - but unfortunately can't translate them into reality. They need encouragement. Women are the pillars of our society.
A good mother will invariably have a good sense. It is important, therefore, that women have a forum for expressing their views, exchanging ideas and coming up with solutions to their problems.