Ghar Ka Kam Sab Ka Kam
The new normal changed many aspects of our lives, locked within the four walls of our homes, it added new words to the common lexicon, ‘work from home’, ‘online learning’ but little did the people realize that it also altered gender task allocation. For ages there has been stereotype gender roles, with men being the bread-winners and women the home-makers, although there had been a great discourse raging around us regarding gender roles, mostly the work outside remained a male bastion, while the domestic chores remained largely confined to women folks.
The challenge to the above status was often mounted by the feminist lobby who argued that gender is a social construct; some changes were becoming visible in gender interpretations, yet it was the home confinement of both male and female members during the lockdown period which added a new dimension to gender roles. It enabled the participation of male members in the house hold chores, as the only social contact was through social media and online platforms.People at large, daily withheld the visuals of celebrities washing dishes, cooking, cleaning, and tending to babies and other such mundane tasks. These visuals were as pervasive on social media like Instagram and Facebook, as was the daily rising count of COVID patients.
The feminist advocacy of ‘Ghar ka kam sabka kam’, seem to have materialized without any external agency or state intervention. The COVID lock down period saw the domestic life of average Indian being run without any domestic aids, thus the long cherished dream of feminists, seemed to take shape as both men and women had to participate the house-hold chores. Domestic work was unpaid labour which entailed a lot of work and bound women to domestic labours, automatically reducing their position in the society, since wealth was constricted in the hands of men. However even as the melt down takes place and lock down is lifted the understanding of men to become more equal partners in domestic labours maybe one of the brightest legacy of otherwise a very dark phase of human history.