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(9) Where do we go from here?
     For the present, Myanmar women today seem to have the best of everything; they enjoy "equal status" with men and there are opportunities to express themselves. But all this does not mean that they can afford to be smug.
     It does not do any good to make a scape-goat of male chauvinism for whatever failure or difficulty women have to face in pursuit of their careers, or, to use the threadbare cliche`-in their search for identity.
     If the potential work power of female population is to be exploited for the betterment of society both men and women will have to readjust their views and attitudes. There are admittedly lots of things that could be done constitutionally by passing laws and regulations, but many more would have to be individual tasks.
     For example, take the plight of women working outside the homes as seen from news item about a recent study - United Nation November 21. (By Agnes Leon). It says"While the study indicates an increasing trend in women's employments outside their home, the role of home maker is still assigned primarily to the women; and she is expected to perform that role the study shows that an employed married woman works more hours than an employed man. And whether employed or unemployed, women shoulder almost all the burden ofthe housework and care of the children."
     The report calls for "fundamental changes in the relationships and behaviours of the family members..."
     The question of who should be minding the baby or who should do the dishes after meal in a home where both husband and wife go out to work, cannot be decided by laws. The "fundamental change in the relationships and behaviours of family members" can only be achieved by facing the hard facts of modern living.
     Women's natural talents like running the home and bringing up the young should not be underestimated. Bernard Shaw once said, such tasks have so long been unpaid and taken for granted that "many foolish people do not think it is work at all."
     Women, it must not be forgotten, are also individuals. They have their own likes and dislikes. There are women who are born house-wives, and to them house-wives is their whole existence. If they choose to be house-wives and be happy in their choice, why quarrel with them? they are also doing their share of social duty.
     Allocation of work in human society should be according to talent and aptitude; it is as insensible to decide that women should be only house-wives and mothers, as to insist that every woman married or single should have a career outside the home.
     Freedom of choice should mean not only to choose to be career women, but also to be ordinary house-wives. Today's trend seems to be that women are brainwashed to think that a woman without a job is nothing; to be a mere housewife means failure. It is as bad as, if not worse than, the housewife-oriented ideology of yesterday.
     Changes in human relationships and behaviours could be brought about by individual effort. And individual effort could rise out of clear and right thinking, which, in turn must be guided through the mass media, and public education.
     It is not enough that women just fall into the rat race for careers without stopping to think whether they have the special aptitude or talent for any chosen field. Nor would it contritbute anything towards the betterment of society by seeking a career, just because it is expected or because it is a status symbol.
     Last but not least, Myanmar women should not forget their cultural roots and moral values regarding home and family. Such traditions will have to be upheld for society will surely be poorer for the loss of them.
     In conclusion, I wish to admit that what I have so far covered in this series of articles is sketchy. There are still many gaps to be filled. It is my hope that more competent writers will help in filling those gaps.
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