Evolving role of Women in the Mauritian society

Nowadays, more and more women in Mauritius are participating in the more professional world as they are more educated. Furthermore, people are finding it very challenging to make both ends meet and hence their contribution to the family budget has
become more of a necessity. A common pattern is
witnessed when a majority of women, doing well
academically, enter the professional world; they get married, have to take care not only of their parents but also of their in-laws, have children and then starts the “merry go round” with its never ending list of additional responsibilities.
While women are spending longer hours outside of the home, their domestic responsibilities have not necessarily lessened.
It is now widely accepted that women should take an active role in the professional world whilst still handling the family matters without jeopardizing the family equilibrium. Society expects them to play both traditional and contemporary roles, with the same energy and dedication, that is without neglecting one at the expense of the other... How far is this realistic? Does this entail sacrifices from these women?
This role has been coined “sandwich generation”; the responsibility for women having to care for both their children together with their elderly relatives. Nowadays, with the advancement in medicine, life expectancy has greatly increased with people now living much longer.
Women/mums want the best for their family and unfortunately it is most of the time very difficult to strike “the right balance” with all the responsibilities and level of tasks that need to be handled on a daily basis. This may sometimes lead to substantial economic and personal sacrifices in order to satisfy the contemporary expectations of the Mauritian society. In trying to find the right balance among all these responsibilities, women may have to make some difficult choices
Some examples of tasks that need to be handled by these women are:
        •  Household chores
        •  Children rearing
        •  Follow up the educational cursus of 
their children
        •  Parents and “in laws” care
        •  Professional responsibilities

All the above responsibilities may induce the following problems:
        •  Tiredness
        •  Burnout
        •  Irritation
        •  Less possibility to get a promotion as it is seen not enough commitment from 
        •  Not enough time and financial resources to continue their studies
        •  Not enough time for gym or whatever activities they may enjoy 
Women having to work, most of the time, find themselves having to cut back on their hours of work and turn down career development opportunities conflicting with their family responsibilities. 
Because of these extensive family responsibilities they may suffer from “family penalty” which limits their career progression. There is also the fact that some employers have a tendency to look down on these women by a subtle form of discrimination like limited investment in their mentoring and new job assignments. 
So many articles have been written on women depicting the important roles they play in the life of everybody in their surroundings be it at home or elsewhere. Living in the current world with myriads of challenges it is virtually impossible to go back to the “old family model” whereby women should stay at home and care solely for the family.... Women need to adapt to this new mode of living and leverage on their multitasking capacity, which is an aptitude that can assist them to fit in their already “tight schedule”. 
Are there other ways to alleviate their already overloaded list of duties? Well... help from their spouse can contribute to alleviate their work load. In Mauritius we still have the chance to live within a traditional yet contemporary model whereby women play different roles within the family that is being a reliable member of the family and a key person within the working environment. The positive aspect of still enjoying a traditional model locally as compared to overseas where it has phased out, is that the elderly are still taken care of within the immediate family. Hopefully, it will be replicated by the younger generation thus keeping with the “authentic family touch”. 
If men contribute to the household chores and help these dynamic women in their work, this will give them the opportunity to progress and harness their intellect potential to the benefit of society and themselves. The solution to these problems will mostly come from a cultural mind shift in the gender roles.
So ladies, this is no time for regrets and stress, you have the potential and above all the faculty to handle different tasks at the same time. Working women have a lot in common with circus performers that is they have to juggle many plates “responsibilities” in the air with the stress that they may crash down someday. These wonderful women are always striving to perfect this perilous balancing act taking into consideration that each day will bring its fair share of additional problems like a sick child, kids needing particular help, elderly needing urgent assistance, unexpected additional work load etc, etc ,etc...