Empower women who are breadwinners: Academician

Dr Bernard Ting

KUCHING: Women should be empowered and not be discriminated if they intend to be the breadwinner of the family.

Dr Bernard Ting, the medical lecturer at the Department of Psychological Medicine, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), viewed that there may still be a portion of society who thinks that women should handle  household chores and take care of the children at home while the men earn a living for the family.

“However, as the trend of female breadwinners emerges, this impression will slowly be replaced by acceptance and traditional gender norms can be minimised,” he told New Sarawak Tribune recently.

He added that the United Nations (UN) promoted gender equality as one of the sustainable development goals (SDG), thus it was not surprising more women have equal access to education and also contributed to economic growth and development.

“In the past, it was probably due to the nature of the work that gave society the impression that men should work harder, especially in the agricultural and industrial era.

“However, the transformation of the economic system provides more opportunities to women, and many of them may do even better than men.”

Dr Bernard added that, inevitably, it was very challenging for female breadwinners to juggle between career and family.

“They need to overcome the challenges at workplace while facing scrutiny from others who expect them to be good enough mothers.

“Their male partners may also be criticised for being incapable or labelled as weak or lazy men.

“Sometimes, we care too much about others’ opinions and put ourselves in a difficult situation.

“It is very important for a couple to have open communication and share decision making and compromise as and when necessary.”

On what roles should the husband play when the  wife is the breadwinner, Dr Ting said that husband could make use of his skills or talents and create every opportunity to contribute to the family.

“Living in this digital era, there are many work that can be done remotely or even at home.

“So, it is up to the couple to decide how they can share the responsibilities and establish a clear division of household chores.”