Recently, during a lengthy journey, I encountered a woman with whom I struck up a friendship to alleviate the monotony. Aged around 25 or 26, she cradled a charming baby girl in her arms.

We became friends by engaging in small talk with the lady while playing with her daughter, and the journey concluded harmoniously. However, as I disembarked from the bus, a heavy heart accompanied me, compelled by the sorrow evident in her voice, urging me to pen down her narrative.

Married at 24, she navigated the complexities of in-law responsibilities while completing her MPhil. Divine blessings were soon bestowed upon her with the arrival of children, fostering a desire for independence and a career. She expressed, “Convincing my in-laws and husband was a challenge, as they believed my job would compromise household responsibilities.”

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Committed to fulfilling both roles, she embarked on a hopeful journey with her CV, seeking her father’s aspiration for independence. Post CV submission came to the interview phase, where her confidence and academic qualifications were fully displayed.

To her dismay, the feedback after the interview shattered her hopes. The head of the institution conveyed that due to her status as a mother, the job couldn’t be extended, citing concerns about maternal attention diversion. This response echoed across multiple places, each refusing her employment because of her child.

Her narrative carried a sense of grief, portraying how society has turned the blessing of children into a burden for her. With no one to care for her daughter at home, she finds herself in a bleak future. The prospect of her husband promising higher education and independence for their daughter elicits laughter, as she envisions her child’s fate mirroring her past.

In the 21st century, our failure to grasp the need for both men and women to contribute to the country’s development persists. Women, inevitably mothers, should not be compelled to choose between career and childcare. Establishing nurseries in offices could empower mothers to balance their responsibilities effectively, ensuring the nation doesn’t forfeit the skills and capabilities of half its population.

Do you believe the implementation of office nurseries would facilitate mothers in managing both childcare and professional responsibilities effectively?