The concept family is a basic element of the society. Women are an integral part of social units, families. Women as caregivers, adult women provide family care to the young ones and the aged. The kind of assistance offered includes washing, bathing, cooking, and mending the house. In most families, adult females perform most domestic chores that fall within the realm of caregiving. Challenges to women who play this role include low income, which makes it hard for them to perform their functions well. Supporting the family is a big challenge where requisite resources are scarce. Women in the low-income stratum work extra hard in unfavorable conditions to sustain family needs (Esping-Andersen, 2009).
Moreover, adult women help in the propagation of family lineage; they can get babies, which contributes to growing up the family (Smith, 2010). Grown up women are fit enough to raise families of their own. They can procreate and take care of their offspring. Motherhood is a great honor to the woman fraternity; it is the fulfillment of the key goals to why a woman was created. To be a mother, it entails nurturing a young family to adulthood. However, raising up a family comes with challenges, which demands proper handling.
Frankenhaeuser, Lundberg, and Chesney (2012) argue that adult women in families without grown up males step in as breadwinners and protectors of the young ones. In this respect, the woman must make sure that a family has food, shelter, clothing, and children go to school. The role of women in the society is big and complex, and may depend on the family setup. However, women try their level best to fulfill their roles. It is strenuous for a woman to take care of the economic welfare of the family without a reliable source of income. Nevertheless, in the modern society, education and employment opportunities for the girl child have improved, which has helped to improve the economic welfare of families headed by women.
In traditional societies, women act as the custodian of community norms and values. The young people are taught about them as one way of initiating children to what is considered good for the society. Good moral are passed to the children by their parents or custodians. Since the young ones spent most of their time with mothers, they are the right people to teach good morals. The family is the first contact area of education to the underage. Learning can be through observation and training. Therefore, women are better positioned to train their children on how best to live in the given community based on the norms held. Consequently, there is a need for women in question to be well versed with what is good for the community and have time to stay with their children for the proper inculcation of good morals to emerge (Smith, 2010).
According to Esping-Andersen (2009), women are also homemakers; they make homes complete and hospitable. Welcoming visitors and making sure that they feel comfortable is an aspect that illustrates women nature in the society. A good house without a welcoming woman is not good. Naturally, women are social and friendly, thus make families happy. However, capitalism and change in social life have brought about some new changes. Pressure from work and individualism has initiated unfavorable shifts in the roles of women in the family. A working woman with a high sense of individualism is bound to be not good at welcoming visitors.
Furthermore, stability in families can also be attained through women. A good woman binds her family together, acts as a bridge between children and their father where conflicts arise. Bad women can destroy their families and brew more problems. Instability and social challenges rock such families. For posterity, women must play their roles well to ensure that peace and harmony prevail. Mediation of conflicts between children is the role of a mother (Esping-Andersen, 2009).
Women are also spiritual leaders for their young ones. Women guide their offspring to the way of religion. In most families, it is the adult female who introduces children to church or place of worship through narrations and counsel on the families’ religious inclinations. As a result, they can also be said to play a role of spiritual leadership. Prayerfulness of the mother is an indirect communication to the young one about the way to go on the spiritual front. Women find it imperative to protect their families through divine intervention (Frankenhaeuser, Lundberg, & Chesney, 2012).
Education of the family member is a role of women, especially in families that do not have a male head of the family (Birrer, 2012). Formal and informal learning is initiated by mothers, which provides the foundation for the child’s future. In traditional family setup, adult women were supposed to teach girls on how to perform domestic chores. Moreover, it is women who remind young females in families about what it pertains to be a woman, thus prepare them for future roles that go with their sexual orientation. In conclusion, women play a myriad of roles in families, from social, economic, religious, and educational. Women are among other things breadwinners, caregivers, mothers, tutors, and spiritual providers to families.
Falola, T., & Amponsah, N. A. (2012). Women’s roles in sub-Saharan Africa. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood.
Esping-Andersen, G. (2009). The incomplete revolution: Adapting to women’s new roles. Cambridge, UK: Polity.
Frankenhaeuser, M., Lundberg, U., & Chesney, M. (2012). Women, Work, and Health: Stress and Opportunities. Boston, MA: Springer US.
Birrer, R. B. (2012). Urban Family Medicine. New York, NY: Springer New York.
Smith, M. D. (2010). Women’s roles in eighteenth-century America. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood.
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