On Mother's Day…
If I were hanged on the highest hill, Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! I know whose love would follow me still, Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! If I were drowned in the deepest sea, Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! I know whose tears would come down to me, Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! If I were damned of body and soul, I know whose prayers would make me whole, Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! Rudyard Kipling
It was the U.S. social activist and poet Julia Ward Howe who issued the call for celebrating Mother’s Day as a pacifist response to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War.
Ward Howe reminded us that women have the responsibility of shaping societies. Mothers inculcate values in their children from the onset and educate. Their role is very important for the development of children and as a group, women are strategically important for the country's future.
It is up to women to form capable, intelligent human beings, with values, principles and ideals; people who become better citizens, free from drugs, violence, and corruption; human beings committed to the development of society.
But, today, women, in addition to being mothers, over the course of their lives are involved in very diverse facets and activities, among them being professionals.
According to the latest census, 51% of Mexicans, 57.5 million people, are women. Of them, six million, more than 10%, are heads of household. They are thus forced to put on the back burner, and not always due to their own decision, the training and education of their children.
However, not all women are part of the labor market. There are those who remain at home, but their work is not very highly valued. The household tasks and the education of the family are equally or more demanding than any job.
I believe that women who decide to stay at home to be in charge of their children’s emotional and intellectual development should receive monetary compensation that reflects the value that they add to the household and to society in general.
The eternal controversy over the role of women, as professionals or mothers, will continue for many years to come, as mentioned in this recent New York Times article. Here in the ranks of Grupo Salinas, we have many very capable, responsible, and hard-working women, and an important number of them fulfill a double function as mothers and professionals. My respect and admiration goes to all of them.
Families would not be the same without the presence, support, and leadership of mothers. In the end, it is they who design and shape societies.