Why Foreign Women Prefer Traditional Gender Roles

A photo of a woman in the kitchen Traditional gender roles are still preferred by some foreign women.

Foreign women who marry Western men still follow the traditional gender roles. Traditional gender roles are the stereotypical roles in society that dictates how we’re supposed to act, speak, dress, and behave. Men are thought to be tough and so are designated as providers of the family. Women on the other hand are reserved for homemaking and child-rearing responsibilities. This societal setup has been around for centuries and is thought of as the default setup since women are thought to be an inferior sex.

The adherence to social norms has been changing for the past decades with women empowerment and gender equality movements. Women are challenging and breaking more barriers; however, there is a current trend when it comes to the point of view for stay-at-home wives. Arguments from both sides of the issue are raised on the pros and cons of being a stay-at-home wife and how sticking with the concept of traditional gender norms could affect the home and family.

Modern Outlook on Traditional Gender Roles

Today, modern society has deemed the traditional gender roles to be a hindrance in progress, as recent studies show that the oppression of women will lead to further problems in society.

Case in point, during the 80s, the Chinese communist government enforced the one-child policy. This limited the number of children couples could have to just one. The policy lead to widespread gender-related abortions as Chinese families opted for male children over females. Today, the aftermath of the one-child policy gave way to a great disparity in the population of men and women, with China having 34 million more men than women.

For societies with struggling economies, both man and woman are forced to find jobs to fully support the financial needs of the family. Taking care of domestic chores and raising children becomes an added responsibility and would sometimes result in women taking indefinite leaves of absence to tend to the children and other tasks related to homemaking.

Studies have shown that with greater gender equality and a better economy, we open up opportunities for women. With this open-minded approach to society, we also afford the opportunity for women who prefer to conform to traditional gender roles. Currently, in well-developed countries with greater reception of women, women comprise about half of the labor force; and yet a number of women still prefer to stay at home and perform the responsibilities reserved for women in traditional gender roles and social norms.

Why Foreign Women Prefer the Traditional Gender Roles in Marriages

There are a number of reasons women prefer to seek their partners abroad. Some want the opportunity to have a better life in another country or some just want to escape the cultural dynamics of their home country.

Whatever their reason is, women in foreign marriages often prefer to observe the traditional gender roles. Majority of this is due to the higher income of their husbands giving them the option to stay and perform domestic tasks at home.

Contrary to popular belief, conforming to the social norm is a misnomer as these women tend to make the choice over all the other options they have, including being a career woman. Majority of employers don’t give substantial support in terms of parental leaves or adjust the schedules of mothers to accommodate breast pumping at work. This forces women to find other avenues in which to better take care of their children, amongst the choices women often take is to become a full time housewife.

This preference makes the transition from one dynamic to another easier as it frees up women to take in the cultural shock without having to juggle a high profile career at the same time. Statistics show that over 30% of foreign brides prefer to adhere to social roles to better balance the responsibilities of homemaking and child rearing, especially in a society with contrasting norms and mores to what they’re used to.

Foreign Brides and Homemaking

A lot of foreign women embrace the culture and gender roles in different countries. As such, these women prefer to stay at home to become homemakers and take care of the children. Even some well-educated women with master’s degrees are taking the stay at home path.

Filipino women, for example, are known to be great homemakers since from a young age, they are exposed to the different domestic tasks at home. They are amazing cooks and due to their cultural and traditional upbringing, tend to prefer being full-time, hands-on mothers. This results in a more proactive role in family decisions and a closer relationship with children.

This is a new trend among millenials to be stay-at-home wives. Majority of this is due to the high cost of child care. A number of millennial wives are finding the combination of being a mother, a wife , and a thriving career difficult to balance. For some who choose to join the labor force, they are finding it quite difficult to manage their careers and engage in the familial activities. Consequently, they tend to transition from being career women, to stay-at-home wives.

Benefits of Having or Being a Stay-at-Home Wife

Stay-at-home wives are finding it easier to balance family life and pursue a passion. Current studies show that women who strike the balance between responsibilities and personal passions are happier and thus have a happier, more successful marriage. They are more engaged in their family and also have the opportunity to engage in society as well.

Husbands on the other hand find it less stressful in worrying about spending more on housekeeping and child care services. Families are finding it easier to manage financial obligations even with a smaller income compared to families with both man and woman working.

This is due to some of the responsibilities often taken care of by the stay-at-home wife. Experts have noted that dedicating 100% of their time in familial obligations may be harmful to the well-being of the woman, so it is still vital to share the workload of domestic tasks between foreign women and their husbands.

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