It has been a long and tiring day at office. Anil and Priya meet in the lobby and climb the stairs to their apartment on the first floor together.
Turning the key Anil asks, “What’s for dinner? I am starving. Skipped lunch to finish a report“.
“Let’s order” Priya said dropping her handbag on the couch and passing a weary hand over her eyes. “I am too tired“.
Anil flopped down on the sofa and picked up the TV remote, “Ok. But don’t forget to wash my blue shirt before you go to bed. I have a client meeting tomorrow“.
“I am really tired” Priya said. “Do I have to do it tonight?”
“Yes” Anil flipped channels languidly yawning. “I need it tomorrow”.
“You know what – why don’t you do it Yourself!“Priya said.
Anil turned to gape open-mouthed at her, “What happened? Why are you angry?”
“I am not angry, just tired. I don’t want to do the laundry tonight. Why don’t you do it for a change?”
“But – but I don’t know how to!” Anil said.
“You have never done it before?”
“No! My mother used to do it!”
“And when she was unwell…or couldn’t because she was too tired?” Priya’s nostrils flared.
“Then my grandmother did it. Or my aunt“. Anil got off the sofa and laid a placating hand on his wife’s arm. “Why are you being like this? I am sorry if I said something to upset you. I need that shirt tomorrow, so be a dear and please wash it. You know doing the laundry is the woman’s duty in a household“.
“Duty?!” Priya shook off his hand and glared at him. She tossed her hair behind her back. “Well now that’s just sad because I am going on a strike! I am not washing your dirty laundry anymore!” Anil stared at her bemused as she stalked off to their bedroom. The door closed with a loud bang.
Debates in intellectual circles revolve a lot around the equal treatment of both men and women, on the necessity of giving them both equal salaries and responsibilities at the workplace. But the debate is rarely carried forward to the household. How can we dream of equality when everyday after returning home from work the husband gets to relax following his hectic day of work, while the wife is left washing the dirty laundry.
Some revolting statistics discovered by Ariel’s survey conducted by AC Nielsen:
- More than 2/3rds of Indian women feel, there exists inequality at home, between men and women.
- 76% of dian men feel, laundry is a woman’s job.
- 85% of working Indian women feel they have two jobs, one at work and another at home.
- 77% of Indian men, depend on women for doing the laundry.
- More than 2/3rds of Indian men prefers to watch TV than to do the laundry.
- 73% of married Indian women feel, a man prioritizes relaxing over helping with household chores.
In a nutshell this it what it means:
You are allowed to leave the household and work at par with men*
*Terms and Conditions Applied. You must be extremely proficient in multi-tasking. No matter how strenuous your career is, you are still expected to do the household chores. Being an independent career woman does not free you from your traditional chores, but adds on to them.
This blog post is a cry to spread gender equality not only in the workplace, but also at home. It can start with something as simple as doing the laundry.