If one were to ask a woman, what makes her really and truly happy, what do you think the reply might be? Would she say, her work or would she say her home and family? Or would it be a balance of both work and home? Well, we asked women that very question and let’s find out what the results were like.
Womaninc presents to you an interesting survey conducted in two cities on a specimen group of at least 35 women in each city. The specimen group comprised of working women as well as home makers, married as well as unmarried. The group is in no way representative of all women across the globe and the myriad opinions that women might hold in various countries. It is also not sufficiently broad based enough to indicate that it’s results are conclusive.
What it is however, is an indication of the sentiments enclosed in a woman’s heart atleast in India and Pakistan. The results are surprisingly alike.
Womaninc cannot and does not endorse the indications arrived at by the survey. But it does not disregard them either. The accompanying essays written by the ladies who conducted the surveys puts across the point gently and adequately. Read on and let us know what you think in the comments section.
Also note that these results are from a survey carried out in the subcontinent…we do not know what responses women living in Europe and America might give. We would like to conduct similar surveys in various countries so if you happen to be living outside the indian subcontinent and are willing to volunteer to conduct the survey for us in your country please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The first survey was conducted by Namrah Matloob who posed the question to over 35 women in Islamabad, Pakistan. Here are her results presented as a pie graph:
Clearly, a majority of the women chose family as the source of greatest joy. Elements that comprised the Other bracket were personal grooming, travelling, practicing one’s religion etc which mire or less fit into the bracket of family togetherness.
Here’s what Namrah makes of these results:
Playing with doll’s houses and little cooking sets a girl grows up and turns into a lady. She becomes a wife, a mother and in her professional domain she might has become an entrepreneur, a doctor, a banker, an engineer or what not but still at the end of the day what is that makes her happy. What is the biggest joy in a woman’s life?
It is often observed that children, life partner and their happiness is the greatest joy in a woman’s life. In the present time where feminism is on boom, such happiness might be considered an imposed sort of happiness by some. A thought may arise in your mind that girls are brought up in way where they relate joy to the joy of their families only but does this really has something to do with the brought up or it is due to the caring nature and maternal instincts of women?
I asked this question, “what is your biggest joy in life?” to some of the women who are married and also successful at the work front and their answers helped me in finding an answer to this question. An ophthalmologist and mother of three children said, “Feeling that I am a source of comfort and happiness for my children and family makes me really happy. Besides my family, my patients are also source of happiness for me”. Another lady who is a banker and mother of two sons replied, “One on one time with my husband really makes me happy”. Similarly most of the women said that their children and family’s happiness is the major source of joy and satisfaction for them.
Even though work and professional success is cherished by women but family often takes first place when it comes to joy in a woman’s life. Earlier she seeks happiness of her parents and later on her children and life partner becomes the source of happiness. Relating happiness to family and her loved ones might be a natural instinct but in some cases it is also imposed as a woman who is happy on her own is often looked down upon. It is usually thought that the only source of happiness for a woman should be her family and eventually this idea of happiness becomes a woman’s natural instinct, something she is born with. A woman is never allowed to explore the horizon of her joy, it never gets widened and eventually women starts believing that they can only be happy if they can make their families happy.
Family being the biggest joy in a woman’s life is not a bad thing but women who have other ideas of happiness also shouldn’t be considered out caste. Everyone should have the liberty to look and explore for their own idea of happiness.
Likewise, Sonia conducted her survey in Delhi and her results are as below:
What makes women happy?
For centuries women have been considered nurturers since compassion comes naturally to them. As emotional and sensitive beings they tend to be better as care takers which makes them the binding thread of a family.
With empathy as their forte, women tend to feel responsible for the overall well being of their family. Its no surprise that their happiness is deeply linked with their family’s well being. Most women who have conventionally built a home, while being employed or as homemakers, associate true contentment with the happiness and success of their spouse and kids. After a certain age, they tend to live for their family.
In recent times women have been career oriented, handling stressful jobs. At the beginning of their careers, some of them tend to consider marriage or kids as a distraction or hurdle for their professional growth and that only women from previous generations could relate to such things. This has delayed the average age for a girl to get married and also for becoming a mother. Some of them even end up never getting married or having kids. In spite of the existence of such ideologies, most women eventually find contentment in building a home and bringing up a child. Motherhood has been considered divine since ancient times and that hasn’t changed even now. To be able to create and nurture makes humans feel one with nature and is therefore, a truly fulfilling experience.
The key is probably to find the right balance between surviving in a civilized society and enjoying nature’s gifts to human beings, such as motherhood. Its difficult if not impossible to be financially secure, contribute as a professional or pursue individual interests while being a good wife and a loving mother. Of course, every individual must be given the right to choose for themselves. What one needs to remember though is that we are not machines and being in sync with nature could help us lead more peaceful lives.
Namrah is doing her graduation in English Literature and is currently working as an intern for the Womaninc.
Sonia Samal has an M Tech degree and is based in Gurgaon. She is currently on an internship with the Womaninc.