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The Gendered Impact of Covid-19 on Unpaid Work in India: The Lessons Learnt


Affiliations
1 Assistant Professor, Punjab School of Economics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar – 143005, Punjab, India
2 Associate Professor and Head, School of Social Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar – 143005, Punjab, India
     

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The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the society’s reliance on women both on the frontline and at home while simultaneously exposing structural gender inequalities across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection. Due to the sexual division of labour, and gendered roles and social norms of performing domestic and care work, the burden of unpaid work fell disproportionately on women. This study is an attempt to explore the challenges faced by women during pandemic, focusing on unpaid care work, both direct care such as care giving services to household members and indirect care entailing domestic work within the household. Specifically, the paper attempts to study the gendered impact of lockdown on unpaid work of women on various parameters like marital status, employment status, income levels and average time spent on household activities. The data has been collected for 140 women (both working and non-working) through Google forms questionnaire and telephonic conversations to grasp the impact of lockdown. The results of the study have shown that although the husbands of these women have shared some responsibilities at home, but still the greater burden rests on women’s shoulders. It is observed that, during lockdown, married working women has to suffer the most as doing the office and home work simultaneously exacerbating the already existing gender inequalities.

Keywords

COVID-19, Household Activities, Lockdown, Pandemic, Unpaid Work, Women
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  • The Gendered Impact of Covid-19 on Unpaid Work in India: The Lessons Learnt

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Authors

Manpreet Kaur
Assistant Professor, Punjab School of Economics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar – 143005, Punjab, India
Anjali Mehra
Associate Professor and Head, School of Social Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar – 143005, Punjab, India

Abstract


The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the society’s reliance on women both on the frontline and at home while simultaneously exposing structural gender inequalities across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection. Due to the sexual division of labour, and gendered roles and social norms of performing domestic and care work, the burden of unpaid work fell disproportionately on women. This study is an attempt to explore the challenges faced by women during pandemic, focusing on unpaid care work, both direct care such as care giving services to household members and indirect care entailing domestic work within the household. Specifically, the paper attempts to study the gendered impact of lockdown on unpaid work of women on various parameters like marital status, employment status, income levels and average time spent on household activities. The data has been collected for 140 women (both working and non-working) through Google forms questionnaire and telephonic conversations to grasp the impact of lockdown. The results of the study have shown that although the husbands of these women have shared some responsibilities at home, but still the greater burden rests on women’s shoulders. It is observed that, during lockdown, married working women has to suffer the most as doing the office and home work simultaneously exacerbating the already existing gender inequalities.

Keywords


COVID-19, Household Activities, Lockdown, Pandemic, Unpaid Work, Women



DOI: https://doi.org/10.15410/aijm%2F2023%2Fv12i1%2F173021