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Woman in light of her Multiple Roles

Prof. Dr. Fathia Mohamed Bahishwan

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Modern societies have witnessed a set of political, economic and social transformations, and this has led to a change in the system of values ​​and norms that are characterized by their strictness and closure, including women's going out to work and their participation in various aspects of life, exposing them to many conflicts as a result of the multiplicity of roles and responsibilities that they undertake, or the contradiction of those roles when competing for specific resources to accomplish more than one task at the same time, or contradiction of the requirements of the roles of those values ​​and the prevailing trends with the different synchronization of others’ expectations for the role and the results that are reached.

The system of social work division between men and women arose with the emergence of class relations, and this division was based on the basis that the basic role of women is their domestic role as wife, mother and housewife, while the man is concerned with work and production outside the home and the practice of all economic activities.


Some cultures in some societies do not give a value to the professional roles that women play, even if the economic value of these roles increases. Usually, these roles that women play are the result of a set of social and cultural factors prevailing in society.


  Therefore, the nature and importance of roles varies according to society and its culture.

Women often suffer from a conflict in social roles, a situation that requires making a decision about two conflicting needs. As a result of this conflict, two roles occur at the same time, so accepting one of them becomes an obstacle to the acceptance of the other.


The more roles conflict, the more conflicts among them, it may be an internal conflict that arises from the conflict between the components of the individual’s personality and trends and the requirements of the role, so the individual performs all his expected roles to become part of his personality by changing or eliminating personal trends that contradict the requirements of the role.


The individual may resort to a partial solution in which he distinguishes between aspects of the expected role behavior, then chooses some of them in proportion to his personal tendencies, after that he performs them without the other parts.

The conflict may also be external between some roles, which is the conflict that arises as a result of a person’s demand to perform two opposing roles at the same time, and this type of conflict is bypassed by the individual choosing one of the roles preferred than the other while his satisfaction from practicing this role is often greater than the saturation that he gets for exercising the contradicting role.

On the other hand, we find that women have additional concerns about the extent of their success in their work and in the other roles that are responsible for them, due to the recent work of women outside the home, and to the various social pressures and obstacles, in addition to the special composition of women in terms of rehabilitation and training, which requires preparation and training and enough time for women to be able to meet the many demands of working life.

However, educated women who went out to work assume now many roles in society. The woman plays her new role in contributing to any field of production or services, driven to that by the new social values that value girls’ education and thus their work. In addition, she performs her traditional roles in the family as wife, mother and housekeeper, besides taking an interest in working outside the home and looking at it seriously and officially.

Islam has contributed to developing a woman’s personality, enhancing her position in the family, as well as enhancing her position in society. Women also occupied a relatively large social position in society, which led to their participation in the decision-making side of the man, at the level of the family or at the level of society in general. Among the advantages of women is their ability to combine multiple roles in addition to working in different locations. 


As a result of the economic and social changes that our society has witnessed, the participation of women has become part of these transformations, and their participation in the development process has become a fundamental thing in the advancement of society, accompanied by major changes in their social roles and status, in addition to women’s access to political rights, and the assumption of power in some administrative institutions.

From here we can understand and explain that the new transformations that have occurred in society have left their repercussions on the life of women, and led to certain changes in their conditions, roles and status in the family and society, as they are the secretion of these prevailing social and cultural conditions.


Therefore, the nature and importance of these roles vary according to society and its culture, and the extent to which a woman deals and interacts with these different roles, including her domestic role as an unavoidable fate imposed by the biological nature of the woman, or the role of the wife, daughter, or the working woman with responsibility and social status as she can cope with all these roles, keeping pace with the new transformations that society has witnessed.

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