Lockdown has outed the dirty little secret of modern Indian households

Sexism-work from home women
With COVID-19 lockdown forcing people to work from home, an old sexism that remained hidden has reared its head. | Photo - iStock

For Priyanka Seth, a Pune-based designer for a city-based e-learning website, working from home in the last two weeks has meant doubling up as the cook and maid. With her husband in quarantine after returning from the UAE in late March, the only consolatioln for her is her son’s nanny, who moved in with them a few days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“I work for almost 12 to 13 hours every day as there is a lot of demand for e-learning content at the moment,” she says. “My younger son, who is just a year old is being looked after by the nanny, but there is no end in sight to the troubles for me.”

Priyanka knows that her tryst with chores are not going to end after her husband completes his quarantine in a couple of days. “He is in the healthcare industry and is going to be neck deep in work all through as long as this pandemic lasts,” she says  with a sigh.

For Kalpana G, an accountant based in Bengaluru, working from home has always been the norm, and she would report to work only once a month. “I thought it was all hunky-dory, undermining the help I receive from my maid and nanny. Now that I have to work from home without any help from the two, the enormity of the burden dawned on me. My husband has been able to help me out with a few chores amid his work schedule, but the upkeep and maintenance of the house is always on me,” she adds.

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