If you want to understand how to become better allies to people with disabilities, then join us at Embracing All Abilities: Including People with Disabilities at Work.
Many Indian men have never been taught to be at home for an entire day or make themselves useful at home. It's time for that to change completely!
Many Indian men have never been taught to be at home for an entire day or make themselves useful at home. It’s time for that to change completely!
The 2019-2020 coronavirus pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 that resulted in COVID-19, an infectious disease first identified in Wuhan, the capital city of China’s Hubei province has not only crippled the economy of many countries but also led to a complete lockdown in India and other significant parts of the world.
In India, the central government had announced a complete lockdown for 21 days right from the midnight of March 24, 2020, to April 14, 2020, to break the chain of COVID-19 infection.
This has caused some serious consequences for migrant labourers, daily wage earners, vegetable vendors, farmers and people engaged in providing daily essential services, and it has brought a totally different type of problem for the big fat middle-class section of Indian society, particularly the Men.
Yes, you got that right, middle-class Indian men, who are apparently left with no work to do, in general, because of the limited access to public life under the state-imposed lockdown. Many tik-tok videos are floating around the Internet and social media which feature men at home, being bored as they have “nothing to do” and futilely lying at random corners of the home and passing the time as they cannot step out of the house due to the lockdown.
The pertinent question that arises here is, why are women from the same section of the society not apparently “affected” by the lockdown, which after all has restricted their mobility too? The answer is simple, they are being busy in doing their duties, which ostensibly is the household chores and domestic work that they perform daily even during the lockdown!
Obviously, there is a clear-cut distinction between the roles that men and women perform in their daily lives, the ‘gendered roles‘ that they are forced to accomplish due to the hierarchical and patriarchal nature of our society.
If, I, at all mention that the root cause of this problem is patriarchy, I feel many will be offended. “What on earth, this has to do with patriarchy and women subordination?” will be the cry of many people around. The underlying structure of male domination which is regarded as patriarchy clearly distinguishes the public and private sphere. ‘Private’ comprises of the activities which take place within the sphere of domestic life involving home and hearth and belong to women, on the contrary ‘Public’ denotes the activities related to business, politics, law and governance.
There is a hierarchical relation between Private and Public in the same way as between men and women. The public sphere is regarded superior as compared to the private sphere, by and large, dominated by men. It is quite important to point out here that there exists a gendered notion and implication in the understanding of work.
The work women do at home is invisible and considered of little value whereas the work done by men outside private life, in the public domain which involves monetary and financial benefit is regarded as more significant.
Our society has been gendered and it has ascribed certain gender role to both the sexes of society, (patriarchy rejects the trans person or the third gender). Even when the men are inside the home due to lockdown, they are not willing to share the domestic responsibilities because of the low value attached to domestic work and the fact that it is regarded as typically the women’s work.
In the time of this corona crisis and lockdown when men are especially inside the home, a majority would rather lie around the nooks and corners of the house than share share the domestic responsibility.
The so-called panic on the part of men in this lockdown is unnecessary, as there can be plenty of work to do at home even in this lockdown. Men obviously have never been taught to be at home for an entire day or make themselves useful or pass their time doing household chores and other domestic help.
What about our mothers and their mothers, the homemaker who had been doing hours of work and labour just to keep the rest of the world going? I am seeing so many men around myself who do not know what to do other than flipping channels, scrolling through the news feed, watching Netflix or reading newspapers, it is but obvious they will get bored easily compared to the women of the house because they never considered being a part of those things that they consider redundant yet, are essential for everyone to survive.
Many women are not bothered by the lockdown, (the fact that they also cannot step out of the house). What they are bothered about is the excess housework which is an additional burden on the part of women by having kids around all the time, (the schools too being closed) and filling the plates and palates of each member of the house. To cook and clean, and to take care of the elderly and children is still considered the duty of women.
Dear men, only if you had learnt the ways to share your responsibility inside the home too, you would not have been bored in this lockdown.
Top image is a scene from the Hindi movie Ki&Ka
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.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
Please enter your email address