Social Work

Sacrifice: A Term Always Associated With Women

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Social Work

Ronita Das

26 Jun,2016

Sacrifice is a very dispiriting term. The word is associated with performing selfless acts for someone other person’s benefit. The soldiers often sacrifice their life for the welfare of the country. But sacrifice isn’t purely noble. Sacrifice in modern era does not mean giving up something for nothing; it means giving up one thing for something else we believe is worth more. And these sacrifices are often expected out of women. This surely ignites the feministic views in me, but keeping those aside it’s a fact we should shed light on.

Sacrifice Is The Synonym Of Woman Since Birth

“He is your brother let him have it!” Does this remind you of anything? In India where female infanticides, sex determination tests, sacrifice is the other word for women. Women are expected to sacrifice right from the beginning of their lives. From sharing, to be precise giving most of their share to their elder or younger brothers, then it shifts to housework. Sacrificing her games or television shows because guests are coming over, helping in household chores, these are the things every girl has been brought up with. I don’t remember boys doing any of these. They always have a way out.  

Sacrifice Has Nothing To Do With Financial Background Or Societal Status

During graduation, one of my classmates quit her studies in between because her would-be-husband and in-laws didn't want her to study further but get married and take care of them instead. When I started working, one of my colleagues had to leave her job half way to avoid the fights with her in-laws and husband and to take care of her child who was 11. He used to go to school and her in-laws used to be at home. They could have easily taken care of the baby, but they too expected the sacrifice from my colleague. Both of them belongedfrom upper middle-class family, yet the sacrifices were equal.

According to me upper the status scales, the sacrifices become more. It is a myth that in upper-class society, there is gender equality; in fact, it is the worse. To keep their status intact in the society they expect more from the women. “Behind every successful man there is a woman” – There is a woman because she sacrificed her entire life almost to make the man successful.    

Sometimes It’s Just A Choice

Sometimes you are just lucky to be born in a family where there is no sacrifice is expected from you, there is no inequality or discrimination whatsoever. But nevertheless, you are not spared from the sacrifice game. Sometimes you just have to sacrifice certain things in life not because someone has asked you to do it but because you want to.  Maybe a person you love or your family or your responsibility towards certain important people in your life.


A very close friend of mine was highly ambitious. I have never met a girl like her. When we were of the age to play with dolls and kitchen set, she used to take up the role of being a journalist and enact reporting for a news channel, investigate cases and charm everyone. We actually got to know the meaning of journalism because of her as it was not that common of a word then. Her dream was to travel and become an investigative journalist. She sacrificed her dream for the one she loved not by force but on her own will. She wanted to be with her family and loved ones, give quality time to them and be with them. Travelling will make her alone and without a proper family. And she is happy. Maybe! But my question is if it was a man would he sacrifice his dreams and ambition the same way? I doubt! Girls get married and go to guy’s family as a part of the tradition, she travels to a different country leaving everything behind even her job and dreams and ambitions, just because the husband can’t leave his.

There Is A Change Too

We cannot be feministic and stereotype the sacrifice with the association with women. There are many men too who sacrifices because of their families and loved ones. But yet again women are not spared completely from the sacrifices she makes. Nevertheless, this has always been in our culture and will be, there is no solution to it.  So instead of complaining we should appreciate her sacrifices and respect every decision she makes.

About Author

Ronita Das

Creativity is where my heart belongs. With strong willpower and determination, I believe, ‘A pen is mightier than sword’. Writing is what calms me down. Being a social butterfly, I can go on talking, but when it comes to working I can be a real night owl. Never saying a no for a work, I strongly follow my passion for writing.

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