#Opinion

When Fathers Support Daughters In Career, Success Shines Brighter?

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Fathers support daughters: Months ago, a picture of a father saluting his daughter who is a police officer went viral for a good reason. The picture gave us the goals of the best father-daughter relationship in which the father did not shy away from recognising and appreciating his daughter’s success. Moreover, in the movie The Kargil Girl, Pankaj Tripathi, who played the role of Gunjan Saxena’s father, rightly said that he was an uncommon father who allowed his daughter to break the cages of society and fly high, literally.

How many fathers in our society support their daughters in achieving their aims and excelling in their career? How many daughters in our society can proudly say that they have a feminist father who did not force them to marry and supported each decision that his daughter made? The answer wouldn’t be a loud and clear “mine”. 

But, dear fathers, a daughter’s life and the journey becomes easier and beautiful when she is supported and appreciated by her father. Being a daughter myself, I can say that my success would shine brighter if my father is there clapping and saying, “I am proud of my daughter!”. So here are some ways in which fathers can support their daughters in career

How Can Fathers Support Daughters In Career:

1. Treat her as an equal

In our society daughters are still objectified as a paraya dhan or a burden on her family. They are treated as a subordinate gender who need not be educated and empowered because fathers and husbands are always there to protect them. But, dear fathers, if you want your daughters to be really happy and proud in their lives, raise them into educated and empowered women. Do not discriminate against her just because she is a woman. She is as much your child as is your son. And she deserves as much freedom and empowerment as your son.

This image of a father saluting his daughter on the first day of duty moves you to tears. All daughters dream of their father’s support in their careers. Click on the image to read their story.

SP Rattana Ngaseppam's proud father, fathers support daughters

Viral: Proud father counting stars on his daughter’s uniform

2. Understand and support her ambitions

A woman’s freedom to have aims is conditioned. She is allowed to achieve only those dreams which are feminine or safe for women. Career options like journalism, police service, airforce and others that demand time, effort and night shifts are seen as inappropriate for women who are perceived as weak and vulnerable. Moreover, a woman’s career choice also depends on whether her future in-laws will approve of it or not.

But dear fathers, dreams and jobs have no gender. All it requires is talent, passion and hard work to excel in any job. And if your daughter possesses these, do not stop her from achieving her dreams. Today she is your daughter and tomorrow she will also be a woman whose name will inspire many daughters in the country. As far as the safety issue is concerned, it is the patriarchal society that should be criticised for not respecting women. Not your daughters. Provide them with the safety that she deserves rather than snatching her freedom to venture out and fulfil her aims.

3. Appreciate her success

A woman’s success is never appreciated enough. Women are expected to never recognise and be appreciative of their success. They should either be thankful to the men in the family for providing them with the privilege to go out or should perform better in the home-bound duties to deserve some appreciation. But dear fathers, appreciation and recognition of hard work play an important role in encouraging the next step forward in life. So stop comparing your daughters’ success with your sons’ or other people in society. Unlearn the ideas that a woman is worth only if she can make perfect round rotis. Appreciate your daughter for whatever she achieved, no matter how small or large the achievement is. Make her realise that she is made to defy and succeed and that you will support her even if she falters.

4. Don’t make marriage a goal against her choice

In the society that we live in, fathers are burdened with the responsibility of a daughter’s marriage and sometimes dowry too. It never makes sense to them to educate and empower their daughters who will ultimately have to stay with their in-laws and not their fathers.

But dear father, you must understand that marriage is a choice and not an obligation. Your daughter should get to decide whether she wants to get married or not. Stop enforcing marriage as a goal in your daughter’s life and setting up an age limit until which she should wrap up her studies and get married. Set her free to decide her own life goals and strive for them as long as she wants to.

5. Support her even if she fails

Failure is a part of our fight for success. But in the case of women, whose freedom is already conditioned, failure is a sign that she should quit and get married. In Indian society, many parents are already reluctant to spend money on a daughter’s education. So it is very difficult for a daughter to convince her parents to give her one chance to prove that she can excel in her studies and earn a living. Amidst that, if she fails, the possibility of getting a second chance is very rare.

Dear fathers, it is not easy to achieve a dream in life. One has to go through many ups and downs before reaching the top, especially in the case of women who have to defy a male-oriented and male-dominated society to make a stable space for themselves. Then why do you make her struggle more difficult by not accepting the failures of your daughters? The idea is to give your daughter the freedom to achieve her dreams. But that freedom will be incomplete if it comes with conditions. So be your daughter’s major support system that encourages her to learn a lesson from failures and try again to succeed.

6. Teach her feminism and gender equality so that she never tolerates injustice

In a male-dominated society, it is not easy for a woman to succeed. There is gender inequality in the number of opportunities, salary, success rate and whatnot. A woman has to be strong enough to stand against injustice and demand equal rights and opportunities. Yes, it is harsh that in the race for success, women have to fight an additional battle with patriarchy.

But, it won’t be that hard if every woman is raised as a feminist who knows her rights and who won’t tolerate any injustice. So dear fathers, an important part of your daughter’s success is her feminist upbringing. Teach your daughter about her rights as a woman and encourage her to raise her voice when they are breached. Be the role model of the feminist man and society so that she internalises this as the norm and confidently slams the male-dominance that tries to suppress her.

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