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In the last few decades women across the world have stormed almost every profession with élan, but it has led to a double burden on women, especially in conventional societies like India where women’s work in homes and families is still almost invisible.
The traditional Indian concept of a household largely persists and presumes that certain jobs within the household are to be performed only by women – housekeeping, child and elderly care, cooking, cleaning are all considered to be a woman’s responsibility by default. In addition there is also the expectation of emotional labour required for holding families together, resolving every day conflicts and sustaining patriarchal status quo within families.
Oxfam which is an international confederation of 20 NGOs working with partners in over 90 countries to end the injustices that cause poverty, has recently asserted that – “inequality has a “female face” in India, where women are less likely to have paid work when compared to men.”
Unpaid work done by women across the globe amounts to a staggering $10 trillion a year, which is 43 times the annual turnover of the world’s biggest company Apple, an Oxfam study said.
The report, released before the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, also stated that women and girls are hardest hit by rising economic inequality, including in India.
Some glaring India specific facts it stated are:
Oxfam said that India’s deeply patriarchal society and other intersections of caste, class, religion, age and sexual orientation have further implications on women inequality as a process.
The unpaid value of housework and childcare is clearly not evident to most people. Maybe it’s time for homemakers to start pointing people to this $10 trillion figure the next time anyone asks them what they do all day!
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Pooja Priyamvada is an author, columnist, translator, online content & Social Media consultant, and poet. An awarded bi-lingual blogger she is a trained psychological/mental health first aider, mindfulness & grief facilitator, emotional wellness trainer, reflective 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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