Female Breadwinners: Resultant Feelings of Guilt and Shame (Peer Reviewed Academic Article)

This paper explores the constructs of shame and guilt, the role of these constructs in women fulfilling the role of breadwinners within their marital or family units, and the impact it had on the unit. The paper also explores the challenges that these women faced within the society, the workplace, their family unit and in their marriages.

Two key findings emerged from this study, the first being the existence of ongoing guilt and shame in the lives of women fulfilling breadwinning roles, and the second being the direct link between the areas of a respondent’s upbringing, respondent’s personal beliefs, the acceptance of roles within a marriage, the joint collaboration of responsibilities between spouses, the level of open communication within the unit, and the resulting emotions such as guilt, shame, resentment, anger, frustration, stress and regret.