Women have a choice
“A woman cannot just depend fully on her partner, and at the same time demand emancipation,” asserted Sara Sihaloho. “She should equip herself with knowledge, and understand that she has a choice,” she added.
In the second episode of Women Women on 6 May 2021, Indonesian human resource professional Sara, shared her career journey – how she, in spite enjoying her work in the development field, had to cut her employment short to start a family, and how this decision opened new opportunities.
“We were trying to get pregnant, and when the doctor said everything was ok, I knew what would make it happen was if I slowed down from work and focus on my personal wellness,” shared Sara. “I understand that the option to quit a job and stay at home is not available to all women. I’m lucky to be in a situation where I could make this choice that my husband also supported,” she confessed.
Educate and know yourself
Sara recognized the factors that limit women from making their own decisions on whether to remain employed or stay at home to concentrate on the household. Among which, she said, were economic difficulties and patriarchy. Either way, she stressed that education is the key to unshackle women from chains imposed by their family, by society, or those that they created themselves. “Knowledge is empowering,” underscored Sara.
A German speaker, Sara capitalized on her language skills when she quit her job. Now, she teaches German and does translation work. She does this to keep her mind active, and also because she believes that women need to be financial independent.
Sara is used to home-office set up. Hence, when the pandemic struck, the situation didn’t require much adjustments from her. “Other than washing a lot more dishes, I’m fine,” she quipped. Sara shared that she sets targets for herself, and operates based on a routine, which she advised is helpful given that people are locked up at home. “Sometimes, you would lack the drive to do something, but because it’s already part of your system, you would still get it done,” she remarked.
Sara’s decision to quit her job has borne fruit – literally. She is now in the 34th week of her pregnancy, and is ready to take on a new role as a mother. When asked which trait she would want her kid to take after her, she answered humility. “From there, all the other virtues will follow.”
Sara is aware that a lot of complex issues face women today, including unequal pay as well as unpaid work, and child care. She highlighted that education is still the solution: continuous learning for one’s self and civic education for the society. Lobbying for education is a job that she would never quit.
Watch the full interview here -
Wonder Women is an online conversation series about success, wellness, and personal freedom. It runs every Thursday at 3pm GMT+7. Sign up here – bit.ly/WonderWomenSeries