I am currently reading Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. This book was recommended by my friend for the book club I belong to. As I began reading this book, plotted in India and America, I was intrigued to learn about both cultures and the significance of the choices women make in different circumstances.
The story began with a mum who was forced to give up her female child at birth because she would have been a burden to the family when she grew up. According to Indian tradition, a girl must receive a dowry, a monetary amount given by her family, in order to get married. It is expected from the husband’s family. The father of the girl was already struggling to raise his family and didn’t want to keep the daughter as she would be an additional burden.
When I read about the mum who was overcome with grief at the thought of having to give up her daughter as soon as she was born due to the patriarchal pressure of her culture, I felt compassion for my gender in other parts of the world. As I know art imitates life, this is the reality of some women in the world.
Being a business coach who encourages women to express their feminine qualities in business, I started to think about the value of women in different contexts. I thought about how that girl could have brought joy and laughter to her household. Isn’t there value to joy and laughter? Even if she remained unmarried because the family couldn’t afford the dowry, she would grow to contribute in the household tasks. Women all over the world contribute their time raising children, taking care of the needs of their families and communities.
These are simple yet serious questions each woman needs to ask herself. We need to hounour the feminine qualities of beauty, intuition, tenderness, affection, nurturing and love in business and in life. Reading this book reminded me of the importance of what I teach women in business about claiming the value of their work so that we can collectively embrace our feminine gifts. As women we are strong, we have substance and wisdom. I encourage you to claim the value of your work so that we can collectively create vibrational energy that will ripple out and positively affect the lives of women all over the world.
How will you honour your feminine qualities in business today?