"The Pride of the Professional "
Source: India Today April 2006
Summary: What can spell woman power better than three spirited and committed professionals sharing views over a cup of coffee? Madhabi Puri Buch, senior general manager, ICICI Bank, clinical psychologist and writer Varkha Chulani and actor Gul Panag came together to discuss the glass ceiling, the gender divide, the competing pulls of family and work and the clamour for glamour. Special Correspondent GEETIKA SASAN BHANDARI and Principal Correspondent KIMI DANGOR played moderators.
How has the scenario changed for working women?
But I still see independent working women in pathetic marriages, with sexual dysfunctions. They choose to remain in these because they don’t think they have right o happiness. We have to re-educate women to think well of themselves.
Does the casting couch exist in the industry?
It exists in most industries. Doctors and colleagues also proposition us.
Does the Indian woman enjoy the freedom to wear what she wants?
Dressing appropriately is a precaution most women should take. Compromise is not a bad word.
Are single or divorced women more accepted now?
Single women are still considered to be of easy virtue. Single usually equals miserable. The “Mrs” tag brings security. Women sometimes stay in bad marriages so that they don’t have to wear the single or divorcee tag. But society is becoming more supportive.
What about the glass ceiling for women at work?
Gender is not an issue. We opt out of work to take care of families instead.
How important is the institution of marriage?
As a professional therapist I would say that not everybody is fit to marry. Marital problems are rising not because the institution of marriage is being questioned but because we have people who still believe in Mills & Boon romances and films.
Do live-in relationships work in India?
The reason arranged marriages work over love marriages is that in an arranged situation, families look at practical aspects like value systems, status, and wealth compatibility. Marriage is a give and take, which we lose sight of in love sometimes.
How important is motherhood to you?
Very. You get a feeling of satisfaction when your child has a sense of wellbeing. But just as not everybody is suited to marriage, not everybody is suited to be a parent. I find problem children have problem parents. Motherhood is not necessarily a biological need for everyone.
Do you advocate premarital sex?
Sex is a biological need but we think it’s dirty. If sex is dirty in the nursery, how can it ever be good in the bedroom?
Do you think a joint family is better than a nuclear family?
Adjustments are required everywhere in life, at work or at home.
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