Woman- The source of creation, an epitome of love, compassion, sacrifice and support. She is not just an individual, she is a multitasker who personifies Durga playing contrasting roles at the same time, a mother, a wife, a daughter in law, a homemaker, a professional and much more. Whether a housewife or an earning member in the family, her duties never end. She is forever juggling between her responsibilities and her own priorities.
Past few months of the year 2020 were unprecedented, peculiar and uncanny. Since the day countrywide Lockdown began to fight Covid19, a pandemic that has gripped the entire world in its tight hold, life became unpredictable and unusual for everyone. Specially in India with a patriarchal society set up, the burden on women increased manifold. Being confined to home is difficult for everyone but for women it has turned out to be more strenuous. The unending household chores with no domestic help around made the task all the more arduous .
It was an equal struggle for both homemakers and working women who did Work from home. With husband and kids at home, no outings ,nothing, imagine the demands, specially related to food and fancy dishes being put up. For a home maker, the little me-time she got before lockdown seems like a distant dream now. And for a working woman, she needs to complete all her household tasks including her office assignments. Sanitizing the ration, cleaning veggies and fruits in salt water, regular dusting and cleaning is a time consuming and tiring task but the lady in the family makes it her priority no matter what as it concerns the health of the entire family. I am sure in many families the members are trying to do their bit to ease the burden but majorly the lasses are struggling alone to cope up with situation ,compromising their own health while providing solace and comfort to others.
Imagine ladies from different walks of life, like the teachers who are actually playing the role of a Superwoman. Completing household work, preparing online classes, making ppt’s for students, taking care of their own children and staying in communication with parents continuously for smooth learning experience for kids. The ones working in hospitals have a different story altogether. The chaos and risk at their work place and then coming back to a house with uncountable household duties must be so physically and emotionally draining. Women working in the emergency services must be going through a great deal of struggle to cope up with this buzzard yet critical situation. These are just few examples that show how lockdown has affected ladies in particular who are still giving their 100 percent selflessly.
For lower income groups, situation is worse. In many such families only women work and earn, so without a job feeding their families is a crisis for them. On top of that abuse and domestic violence is another trauma they are going through. Females whose husbands were daily wagers have their own challenges and miseries. With no job, no shelter, no food they are treading back to their home towns to get to safety with no clue what the future holds for them. For them sustaining this pandemic is the only priority.
Even after the lockdown is lifted, the challenges faced by the fairer sex will be unending till the time everything normalizes and Covid situation is absolutely under control and for economically weaker section, it would be like starting from the scratch. With calloused hand and feet their struggle will continue for long. Until then staying mentally and emotionally strong is the only choice women have.
The best that can be done is to let her live in good mental health with less least stress and anxiety. Share the domestic load, divide responsibilities to lessen her burden, cooperate and support, show compassion and appreciation. Keep her motivated and strong as she is the source of energy and vivacity in the family.
Help the EWS women as much as possible. Support and donate, it doesn’t take much to do a random act of kindness. Just remember each effort counts.
What we need is a gender-neutral society that understands and cares. Don’t let anyone around you succumb to psychological illnesses specially women who are extremely vulnerable during these Covid times working effortlessly and tirelessly under lockdown and quarantine. Everyone needs compassion and empathy. Let’s be kind and considerate. Don’t let the virus of depression and worthlessness creep in. Don’t disregard a woman’s efforts, respect her selfless endeavors. Make sure she stays in high spirits and doesn’t feel Locked Down.