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WOMEN AND THE TEACHING PROFESSION

Indian Society has down the ages witnessed male-chauvinism in its extreme forms. Although women have been held in high esteem, yet their joining professions of choice has been a long drawn battle. Women have often faced ridicule and even been ostracised for making a choice of profession.
The choice of taking to Teaching was allowed because of the high degree of prestige attached with Teaching.
With emancipation of women, spread of education, special facilities for their academic and professional education; more and more women have joined professions that were deemed a male prerogative, so far.
Teaching is respectful. Working hours suit women. Mother is the first teacher of a child and the mother extends this role to the society by joining a School. Her innate qualities, her patience, her love and care and her �Mother Figure� role enable her to be ideally suited for this profession.
In the present scenario of education, especially in India, women have often outclassed men in academic pursuits and there is proof of it in the results of Boards and Universities. Women are finding the teaching profession safe, respectful, satisfying and many have proved their mettle.

It is a fact that in India the male member happens to be the main bread earner for the family. The family unit in rural and urban sector accepts women as equal partners in work and as her earnings are often meagre in comparison to their male counterparts, hence women only supplement. Exceptions are there but they are so few. With the family as an institution undergoing change and more and more women taking up professions that are lucrative, demanding and competitive; we have more and more mediocre teachers joining schools.
If we want a change, we have to stop exploitation of Teachers, we have to restore this profession to the level of esteem in which it was held in the past, we have to make it a very lucrative profession and we have to create awareness among people to look at the profession not only in terms of what is apparently visible but lots and lots of intangible work that goes on behind the screen in moulding personalities, in transacting curriculum, in a lot of record keeping and paper work, in evaluation, in managing behaviour and in influencing lives through role-modelling and living in practice what they teach.

Mahatma Gandhi called �Women as incarnation of Ahimsa�. Teachers are called Nation Builders. Teachers do need appreciation of their work and contribution to Society. No lip-service please. The work environment, the salary and perks, the facilities for upgrading one�s skills and incentives for performance are to be improved.
Let us hope that it happens soon.