Patriarchy Set Free During Lock Down

In the history of mankind, lockdown is not a new thing. In the present situation, when all educational, cultural and other social institutions are closed, the basic tendency of human nature to possess, control and exploit particularly in gender relation is overtly manifested.

Academic research findings during Ebola crisis, Zika, and recent outbreaks of SARS, swine flu, and bird flu reveal the same affecting the most vulnerable sections as of women.

Present pandemic magnifies existing patriarchy in family, community and society at large. Women are more likely to play their predominant roles as caregivers within families and as front-line health-care workers in the community. But instead of recognising their contributions, they are being made victim of social injustice very often. There are reports of alarming rise in domestic violence. National Commission for Women (NCW) has received several calls of domestic violence across the country. Newly-wed woman is being threatened to be kicked out if she fell sick, wives are being battered by frustrated partners due to economic stress and the increasing burden of care work at home are all such regular happenings during lockdown adversely affecting the physical and mental health of women and there is no escape route.

Work from home may sounds easier in a white-collar job for men but for a woman to look after all house hold works along with the official assignments in the absence of maid is not less than a struggle to prove herself and protect from possible threats of joblessness.

Temporary lockdown opens up an opportunity to take a pause, rejuvenate and pay attention to one’s creative side. However, creativity has no place for those women whose self-hood is crushed under motherhood to serve yummy dishes and engage in never-ending domestic chores. History says, William Shakespeare and Isaac Newton could deliver their best work when England was wrecked by plague as they had no childcare responsibilities.

World has inadequate women’s representation in the decision making team for COVID–19 Preparedness and response at the national and global levels. However, there is a light of hope where the professional team led by women in Odisha are successfully combating against corona virus in the state. This may raise a light of hope but not enough to change the world mindset.

Everywhere, women’s choice to live life in the deep rooted patriarchal system is a silent victim of the pandemic.

1 Comment
  1. Lekha Das says

    So apt. I agree with you regarding the role of women during lockdown at least in the typical Indian middle class set up.

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