Working women ‘add to stability of family’

SHARJAH - It is a popular misconception that women contribute to the unemployment of men by entering the job market, and because of their sensitivity to work pressures also jeopardise their families’ stability, said Dr Rawda Abdulla Al Metawee, one of the founders of the first women association in Ras Al Khaimah in 1967.

By Lina Abdul Rahman

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Published: Fri 3 Sep 2004, 1:09 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:44 PM

Talking to Khaleej Times Dr Al Metawee highlighted the positive impact of women entering the job market on their families’ stability and how people should rectify the misconception that work for women means instability in their families.

“Various forms of media contribute to the misconception, and there are usually three wrong perceptions among the Arab society. There is the conservative notion that women are weak human beings who are obliged to perform limited tasks in life such as raising children and cooking. In addition, working women will have to mingle and communicate with male strangers which is considered a violation for religious norms.”

“Secondly, the Arab society acknowledges women’s right to work provided that they are into careers such as education, tailoring and nursing. The third perception is more liberal in the sense that it gives both men and women equal rights to work in various fields. It asserts that women are equally capable of performing any task and that they are more creative than men. Any Arab country will not witness productivity and development unless women are granted equal rights and opportunities to work in their fields of interest,” Dr Al Metawee said.

She added that women should be encouraged to work as they can make a significant contribution to their country's development and prosperity. “I can refute certain claims that children of working mothers will be adversely affected by their absence. The negative impact of the absence of working mothers in their homes is in fact less than the bad effects on children’s attitude and behaviour being brought by changes and developments in the world,” Dr Al Metawee stressed.

She maintained that a mother staying at home will be spending most of her time shopping, sleeping and being dependent on the family’s maid to perform household chores, including raising her children. “On the contrary, a working mother is a qualified educated person who will allocate her time equally between work and her children. She will be more aware of her responsibility as a parent to raise her children in the right manner and teach them to be independent,” she explained.

Dr Al Metawee had been recently chosen and rewarded by Her Highness Shaikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, as one of the country’s pioneering women who played significant role in the nation’s development and prosperity.

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