The Good Side of Early Retirement
WINDOWS – By Huda Al Jahwariya – Features – The Oman Daily Observer – September 5 2011
Many women, especially those who work in the energy-guzzling education field, dream of early retirement. They crave for a come-back to their homes to arrange them from within and to put right what had gone wrong during their years of tenure.
I am a staunch supporter of women’s right to work which makes them financially independent from their male partners, and consequently more capable of deciding for themselves. However, an important thing which should be taken into consideration is the working woman’s choice to quit the job when she finds herself no longer capable of working, or when she feels that her dedication to the job comes at the expense of her family’s well-being and happiness.
Recently, the retirement benefits for government employees were increased, and the new regulations stipulate a minimum of 20 years of service as mandatory for pension entitlement in case the employee resigns before reaching the age of 50. The minimum period of service has been raised to 15 years from 10 in case the employee is 50 years old.
Why not reconsider the regulations pertaining to women’s retirement conditions, for instance by reducing the minimum period required by the law to 15 years for women bellow 50, and to 10 years for those who reached the age of 50.
Some men may argue that women are claiming equal footing with the men, but they give up their pursuit of equity whenever it contradicts with their interests. But let’s raise the following question — who is the woman, isn’t she the wife and the mother? The modern-day family is in a dire need of mother’s care in the light of changing situations.
Man and woman are partners in the family institution despite the fact that the woman bears the brunt of household responsibilities. The behaviour of the new generation is changing constantly, and the process of raising children is getting tougher than ever before.
Children now spend long hours glued to the television watching programmes that can spoil their manners, not to mention the damaging effect of Play Station games that teach our kids nothing but bullying and scuffling.
Parents come back home from office utterly exhausted and the wife has to sacrifice her rest time so as to make up for the hours she has been absent from her children.
Most women who got tertiary education and have spent 10 years or more at a job feel the need to give up the work to dedicate full time to their children. More so if children are in their teens when their character is moulded and hence need to be monitored closely.
It may not come as a surprise to say that the hardest time for a working woman is when her housemaid faces her with the decision that she is going back to her home country. At this point the woman tries her best to change her maid’s mind by the lure of a pay rise.
We should not label educated women sitting at home as a retrograde action since they do so for the sake of bringing up their children properly and giving due care to their family’s affairs. Some feminists criticise Arab women who obtained higher certificates only to hang them on the wall of their drawing room for guests to view.
They consider such a behaviour as a step backward from what the Arab women’s movement has so far achieved in their pursuit to put themselves on parity with men.
Furthermore, women’s early retirement can be quite helpful in easing the feverish race for jobs, by giving way for employment of younger people.