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A large number of women have chosen the ‘work from home’ option to be able to manage both work and home. Are work from home moms penalised for this choice?
When women work outside the home, their work inside doesn’t magically go away! Women continue to bear the ‘double burden’ of two jobs – resulting in immense stress as well as lost opportunities. Join Women’s Web & Breakthrough India in our special #Streelink series this month, as women share their stories on the double burden. You can learn more here and share your story.
Breakthrough India is a human rights organization working to make violence and discrimination against women and girls unacceptable. Learn more about their work!
I am a working mother and a homemaker. Yes, so are hundreds of women the world over but I am of the new generation that ‘works from home’. It ensures that I have the flexibility to do my work from the comfort of my home while I juggle my housework, children and family commitments with my job.
I get the full share of all household chores to do in spite of my work schedule so the maid is indispensable for me, or I cannot get my work done. In fact, on holidays, according to my folks, I am freer since I am not ‘wasting time’ doing that hobby of mine.
On most days, when I compare myself with our domestic helper, I feel she gets a raw deal since she is just a maid; a small cog in a large system, an easily replaceable woman. Yet on occasion, I feel that she is indispensable to me at least. Those are the days when there are holidays or some special occasions.
You see, she has a holiday sometimes when our family too is on a break. I am jealous on such days since she gets a break while a holiday is not one for me.
Sadly, for my family and most people around me, my job is easily dispensable; not a ‘real job’ and just a creative outlet for me. My work doesn’t count since I work from home. It’s not really work, says my family. I am within the comfort of my home, mostly in comfortable clothes and have an excuse to work when I want to. On holidays, I get a break from my work but not from the chores at home.
Miss World Manushi Chhillar recently opened a Pandora’s box by saying that homemakers deserve the highest salaries, but will it make any difference to the status of women like me? Women like me are stuck in a limbo of working and getting no recognition while also being full-time homemakers and getting no respite or recognition since it is our job to do the housework. My real job, the one where I ‘work from home’ gets no acknowledgment or appreciation from anyone in the family; instead, I get the added burden of being considered quite capable to do some extra work outside the house as well.
I must shoulder the workload at home all by myself so I feel my maid gets more recognition for her work than mine. She is stepping out of the house and so automatically gains credit and acceptance of her work. Forget the comparison of the kind of job it is – menial, intellectual, social or marketing – as long as a woman moves out of the house to work, it is considered genuine work. She is working, earning a living, doing a job, being useful. I, on the other hand, am just using my free time to do some work that no one is really sure is actual work.
It is a choice I made to avoid the commute, the long hours and the inflexible timings. Yet, instead of appreciation and recognition, all I get is complacency and the assumption that I am always available; that I do not need a break or rest nor do I need any help with my household chores.
I struggle each day with being firm with my work time. Many times, I end up upsetting family elders and friends that I would rather sit at home with my ‘pastime’ than socialise with them. A family visit, a relative’s religious function, a friend’s impulse shopping spree or just a random get together (since someone was bored) must all take precedence over my work.
Women work across the world; yet only those who step out to go to a place away from their home are thought of as contributors to the household income. They are valued and acknowledged. My work is a vague ‘something’ that I do to keep myself occupied since I have enough free time at home. After all, I have a maid who does most of my housework. I can’t help be jealous of her ‘work status’ sometimes.
Have ever faced such an unfair treatment due to your job? Does your work find favour and acceptance within your family and elders? Are you continuously struggling to prove your work or job worthy? Share your trials and incidents with me, especially if you work from home!
Learn more about Breakthrough India’s work here: Campaign #Streelink | Instagram | Twitter
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Inderpreet Kaur Uppal is a freelance author, editor and writer for fiction and nonfiction based in New Delhi, India. A post-graduate lecturer in Human Resources Management, Corporate Communications, Training and Development and Organizational Behaviour read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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"I chose to go out into the remote, wild, unknown, and make it home," says entrepreneur Kiranjeet Ahluwalia Chaturvedi, who owns Birdsong & Beyond.
The story of my mountain home Birdsong & Beyond started taking shape in 2009, on the internet, the way many stories do these days.
My childhood fascination for a life in the Himalayas led to an internship with a central Himalayan NGO instead of a much prized corporate assignment. But when they offered me a full-time job, I refused. I was overcome by fear and a lack of confidence.
My other longings pulled me away – the longing to fit in, to earn validation from others. By my mid-30s, with all the trappings of a middle-class urban life in place, the call of the snows couldn’t be ignored anymore. So I got to work on it with clearer intentions and a stronger sense of what I needed for myself, and why.
Many Indian elderly are firm believers in enslaving a daughter-in-law in the name of tradition which is actually a tradition of oppression and not of religious faith.
Albeit, the popular culture has interpreted scriptures as suggesting that Kanyadaan is the supreme form of donation given to someone, the connotation that the word donation alludes to definitely objectifies the girl.
Even when the exegesis justify the act of giving away the daughter, considering it a ritual to mark the initiation of the daughter into her husband’s gotra and her becoming the part of his family tree.
There is no denial of the fact that this initiation is not required on the part of the groom thereby formally denoting the end of the filial ties with the daughter as it was popularly instructed to the bride during the Vidai ceremonies:
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