Invisible Barrier Holding Back Women: Is Lockdown Burdening Women Even More?

Social Distancing Amidst the Pandemic COVID-19 Outbreak, is Raising Questions of Gender Equality in Different Parts of The World.

Picture courtesy: giving compass

Social media, post coronavirus induced lockdown is flooded with memes which highlights a serious concern of equal distribution of household chores because work-from-home is not work-for-home!

The less talked about the sexism of our society is now being exposed scathingly when men and women have to work from home and the maids’ entries are barred for obvious reasons.

For the women employees around the world, the lockdown has doubled their burden. Now they have to meet the deadline of their work scope at offices and take the family along with cooking, dishes, and dusting.

For an IT professional like Shreya Joshi, the coronavirus lockdown is a life mess. Being the “woman of the house”, Shreya is juggling from running the household to efficiently managing her team.

Without domestic help, she finds it a mammoth task to be able to take a break and relax for even an hour! From mopping, cleaning, cooking, dishes, babysitting, Shreya alone has to carry the physical and mental burden of an unending shift round the clock.

With the coronavirus lockdown, the unspoken everyday sexism has come up and is creating rifts in couples like never before. Honestly speaking, this is high time that these gender-based roles are broken away.

While many have taken this opportunity to bring improvement in their social codes and defined roles, others continue to struggle, survive with an extra pile of chores and in worst cases domestic abuse.

The Biased Structure of Society

Men in most cases remain less bothered with what is going on in their houses, especially in South Asian countries and countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

According to research conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an Indian woman does six times more unpaid work each day than her peers from other countries. Whereas the amount of unpaid work than men do in India is less than one hour per day.

This stark difference in unequal work distribution gets shadowed by the various number of helps: maid, driver, cook, nannies, and gardeners.

The upper-middle-class and the elite class can afford as many as 4 to 5 houses helps and can overlook the gender roles but in middle-class families, the absence of the domestic helps in the Coronavirus lockdown is creating invisible barriers for women.

In India, women are responsible for a major chunk of the household works and responsibilities, irrespective of the fact that they are working for an 8-hour shift in offices.

Indian working women are dependent on the house helps to get their domestic chores done; if not then it is them who will have to take care of the husband, the children, the grocery, the meals, and whatnot!

In such circumstances where social distancing from people has made it mandatory for people to not hire maids- the equalizing agents in middle-class Indian families; it appears that the lockdown is burdening women evermore.

However, we have come across many cases where men are realizing the overwhelming load of responsibilities that requires equal contribution at home. Men need to realize the fact that they are equally responsible for everything that goes in and out when it comes to managing the house and the kids.

The gender gap has a strong clutch and can be overcome when men participate with the same enthusiasm and persistence to fight everyday sexism that goes unacknowledged.

Want to know why we need more feminist men on-board? Yes? Tell me more!

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Originally published at https://www.fuzia.com.

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