How Economic Challenges Determine Who A Bread Winner Is | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Uncategorized

How Economic Challenges Determine Who A Bread Winner Is

Posted: Aug 27, 2016 at 2:07 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

How Economic Challenges Determine Who A Bread Winner Is

It is no longer news that women are increasingly becoming breadwinners of their families due to different factors which prevent men from effectively performing their traditional role of providing for the families.
It is not too big a deal these days for a woman to assume the role of breadwinner due to one circumstance or the other. It becomes a bigger deal when such a woman becomes unruly because she is the breadwinner. However, it becomes a shameful thing for an able bodied man for no cogent reason to accept fate and sit idly while his woman sweats it out all day. Though husbands and wives are meant to complement each other’s efforts especially with the global economic recession, both party have responsibilities towards maintaining the home. It is a crime with the current economic challenges for one party to be indolent.
According to the African tradition, the man, as head of the family is, expected to lead, provide for and protect his family. This has been his role for millennia, until now. With the passing of time in an era many consider the post-modern age, men are increasingly giving up this role to their wives. Although the prevailing norm still says that a man should be the family’s breadwinner. It is no longer unusual today to find a woman doing just that, and on a job hitherto considered the exclusive preserve of the masculine sex. Many are chanter of the “money doesn’t matter” mantra but money matters a lot. As far as life is concerned, money comes after oxygen.
Here’s something unnatural about a woman assuming the role of provider in a marriage and it is a proven fact that once that tone has been set it’s nearly impossible to reset.
Being the breadwinner by many women and the sole financial provider at that, is not a choice especially in these hard and trying times. The unstable job market, changes in family structure with more and more single-parent households, and the practicality of having one parent stay home and care for children are all factors in being a single-income household. Although this is not very practicable in Africa as this could connote something on the part of the woman who will be labeled.
It’s a tough act to combine average monthly earnings, make both ends meet and still come up with a good enough savings. Imagine the burden if you are a sole breadwinner, what with a queue of financial obligations like paying all sorts of utility bills, buying the family’s daily needs, fulfilling major payouts like mortgage and children’s school fees, not to mention having to shelling out money when unplanned expenses occur.
Money views can be a complicated thing. There are varying opinions about it, and that includes the concept of the breadwinner role when it shifts from the conventional father role and responsibility.
Despite drastic changes in gender role expectations, most studies on gender and income show that the majority (both men and women) still associate men to the breadwinner’s roles and expect them to be good providers. In this regard, the negative effects on marriage would lean more towards situations when the wife is the breadwinner.
Despite not being conventional, there has been openness about non-male breadwinning roles, given economic circumstances as well as the practicality of the arrangement when called for. Also, there are many families with non-traditional breadwinning roles where harmony, peace and domestic bliss exist, not to mention pride for both the mom and the dad. The ugly horns of the non-male breadwinning role shows up when important conditions are not met. Foremost of these is when there is no accompanying shift in family roles – the woman is the breadwinner and at the same time still has to take full charge of the home and children. Another is when there are lies woven around the real family financial situation, tolerated by either one of the couple or both.
Some experts noted that as the wives grow more confident with their earning abilities, their husbands often seem to diminish in terms of self-worth and in being man of the house. There is little evidence to show that as women acquire earning power, relations between men and women have evolved successfully. In most cases, both the man and the woman are not comfortable with this role reversal.
Research reveals that living in an atmosphere where money worries is a consistent issue and especially hearing arguments about money have negative effects on children’s sense of security and how they view money so couples should mind what they discuss when children are around.
Parents’ financial stress negatively impacts their children. Studies show that children do feel and carry with them the strain, even if the parents are discreet in talking about the situation. In a research, parents that experienced financial strain were less connected to their children, which can affect the kid’s school performance and relationships with others. They were also less likely to engage in positive social behaviors like helping others and volunteering.
In cases where men in the family don’t work, have no sense of co-shared responsibility and slack around while women take on breadwinning responsibilities, some children tend not to give their fathers utmost regard.
Women breadwinner can still be calm, cool and respect their husbands. Husbands on the other hand who for one reason or the other can’t provide for their families should appreciate their wives and not permanently cede the role to their spouse. It doesn’t matter who is putting food on the table, the home can still be a place of joy and peace.