- Even before the pandemic made its debilitating presence felt across the universe, the burden on the women from various quarters always tended to be overwhelming as compared to men. This is especially true for working women who had to traverse in two different boats while navigating the domestic as well as professional fronts. The pandemic being declared only helped in exacerbating the challenges for the women who were confounded with a newer set of responsibilities. As work from home option was extended to employees who could carry out office-related assignments, the onus of managing the household chores as well as demanding job profiles on women employees was bound to create adverse reactions.
PC:FORTUNE STAFF & RACHEL LOBDELL
- It is happening in a big way now. As is the norm, the onus on taking care of the duties related to children as also managing the household chores mainly falls on women. Add to it the formal work which is anything but easier or cozier as many would like to believe, the recipe for blowing one’s fuse or breaking down unable to shoulder the mounting responsibilities is a given fact. People in the know would relate this situation being referred to as women’s double shift – a common moniker mentioned in European and Western countries. No wonder, as the reports emanating from several countries including India unequivocally mention many women missing the conventional office. The story plays out differently in India, though.
- Of course, the importance of having domestic help in India needs no emphasis or elaboration. The urban dwellers can never be able to lead a normal life without the help and assistance of domestic maids who have become an important part of the extremely busy schedules usually associated with the metropolitans. Paradoxically speaking, affluent women outsource housework to domestic workers, but affluent men rarely pick up the slack. It is an interesting statistic to note that India has the highest unpaid work gender gap in the world, men spend an average of 52 minutes a day on housework, compared to nearly six hours by women. How lopsided and discriminatory the matter is heavily loaded against the women is evident.
PC: Dr. Aygul Zagidullina
- Consequently, many career-oriented women have made selfless sacrifices, soon after childbirth, in ensuring the family life stays undisturbed allowing men to pursue careers as envisaged. Yes, remote working did offer flexible work for women but a combination of factors like diminishing effect of the novelty factor, unhelpful husbands, and the mounting work pressure is forcing women to either drop out or crave for commencement of offline workings. Here a word of advice for men is not out of place, I guess. Extending all possible help, support, and sharing in routine household chores, including childcare, would go a long way in providing a semblance of balance to hard-pressed women struggling to cope with the challenges. Make no mistake, women are inherently blessed with resilience and a more rounded coping mechanism. A fair amount of support from men would make their world more bearable, enjoyable, and amiable. Any takers?