Homemakers. The more respectable modern name for housewives. Respectable names aside, do they command respect, and get equal status – in their own homes? From people around them? What happens when a phenomenon like the lockdown gets announced, and their partner in doing thankless house work, the house-help, is taken away from them? The prime minister, through many addresses promised to do something for various sections of society. But missing from any of his addresses, much like from many of our minds and preoccupations, is a thought for this particular member of every family.
There are enough statistics to prove that nowadays girls are pursuing and finishing education better than boys. Now, combine that with the fact that in India, less than 30 per cent of women of working age actually are working outside their homes. The number for men is about 80 per cent. So what happens to well-educated women, who’ve been confined to doing household chores, during a lockdown?
This is the fifth in our series of Project As Is – our attempt to understand the hearts and minds of India’s majorities… through the lockdown. This project had started on India’s first day of the lockdowns with a simple question. When people are unnaturally forced to stay at home over a long period of time, what would they feel about various aspects of life, and importantly, how would those feelings change over the entirety of the lockdown?
The findings are in two parts. The accompanying short video dramatises the key insight of the homemakers cohort. And a detailed report on this cohort can be made available upon request.