Monday, 19 January 2015

The Laundry List

I came across a startling fact as I searched for my missing handkerchief this morning. I called out to my mum and angrily asked her where she'd kept it. I knew she'd have washed it in the washing machine and let it out to dry. My kerchief must've got lost somewhere between these activities. But as I got dressed for office, I realized how not even once did I wonder if my father had misplaced my hanky. This internal sexism opened my eyes to some shocking statistics:-


76% is only the men's contribution to that thought. Imagine how many women think laundry is their job, née, duty! If we wish to be treated as equals, we must first stop propagating that thought even amongst ourselves. Our kids need to understand that washing clothes is not their mother's job, nor is it only their father's. Household responsibilities are ideally shared equally between the partners.


In many households, the breadwinner is a man who comes home only to switch on the television and relax with a beer. The woman, who has also been working throughout, is expected to work still more till the entire family goes to sleep. Her job is thankless and does not allow for much rest.


It is no wonder then that working women feel like superwomen with the multiple tasks they have to complete, many which can easily be shared by the partner. Caring for a child, preparing for an office presentation, cooking, cleaning, washing and shopping for groceries are only a fraction of what the average woman does on a daily basis.


The man, meanwhile, prides himself in being a couch potato and owning a good wife!  Statistics reveal that men have not matured completely where it comes to shouldering responsibilities equally. They must offer to share the burden if they truly believe in equality. Just holding placards and marching with candles will not bring equal rights to our houses.


77% of men depend on women for laundry. The woman in this case could be anybody - mother, aunt, housemaid, wife, girlfriend or sister. It's funny how they never depend on their dads or brothers or uncles for similar things. But hardly 7% of them realize that. The gender imbalance can be improved by bringing about change in our perspectives. We must divide household chores fairly. The laundry list of things to do should not be a woman's task anymore!

I am writing for #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob activity at in association with Ariel.

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