Are there gender based roles at home ?
In this episode, we explore how our day to day activities are influenced by our gender. Not at workplace, but in our own homes. Broadly we may be aware of what is the primary role each family member is playing in the house. Many fall into the area of shared responsibilities. But still, are there things you do in your house only because you are a woman ?
You may wonder why this question should be examined. It is very easy to talk about equality at workplace, equality everywhere. But what about our own families ? Are you aware if gender influences what you do ? We may all be aware of the undue load of invisible work on the woman - managing home and a job, taking care of the children or elderly and what not. Quite often, we may think we have distributed the responsibilities in our own homes and it is a fair game. But, is it ?
I speak to women across various age groups and profiles probing a few questions - whether there is a gender based distribution of work at home ? What is the one thing they would want out of their plate, if they had an option - the one thing that is on them because of being a woman ? What is it they expect from their family or extended family members in terms of better understanding the additional responsibilities carried out as a woman ?
At the end of this episode, you may want to ask some of these questions to yourself. Why ?
Listen on ..
What the New Indian Woman podcast is about
As you may already be aware, this podcast has 2 focus areas. One, We examine the challenges faced by today's Indian woman and propose ACTIONABLE strategies in the Indian context, on a wide variety of topics - right from identifying their passion to better productivity and parenting. Second, we meet women who chose to aspire or have a dream beyond their defined roles and facilitate sharing of what worked and what didn’t, for them. Today's episode falls in the first category.
And in the process, my aim is to help you, The New Indian woman, to realize your potential, chase your dreams and aspirations, utilize the wonderful opportunities available in today's world.
What's in this episode:
Same questions, posed to women of different age groups, profiles and life stages. It is interesting to see some things common, affecting every woman. It is also interesting to see how perspectives differ and sometimes, how the seemingly smallest of things can be such a big bother for them.
One important common observation for me was about how this question was new for all of them - most of them started stating there are no gender based roles, yes, in their own ways. But when probed further. One could make out they were shouldering additional home maintenance responsibilities just because they are women. Sometime there was almost a denial, stating what is done is based on who is skilled at what. And sometimes, there was just plain acceptance, resigning to the fact this is how it is going to be.
It would be very interesting to ask these questions to yourself and openly, without any bias or any attempts to defend, examine your feelings towards this. You may even want to examine a list of what all you do. You may think there is no point in examining this, but do remember, there are or will be children around you, who will imbibe this and accept this as the default. So, you examining these questions and talking about it, as always, would be a good starting point.
There is an interesting article on this topic, albeit in the western contex.t I am not sure of the solution proposed in this context, but I feel it is a good read. This is about a lady who came up with a Shit I do excel and realized it is huge, she came up with this when she felt there was a huge amount of invisible work done by her.
These discussions are intended to let us understand and appreciate these perspectives. Plus, these should be prompts for us to examine our own context.
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