Hustle Culture: Pandemic burdens working women
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Hustle Culture: Pandemic burdens working women

Hustle Culture: Pandemic burdens working women

Post by on Monday, June 7, 2021

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Misabah Bhat

With the changing dynamics of the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the new work environment has wielded enormous pressure on working women as they need to hustle between their professional work and household chores at the same time.

Rising Kashmir spoke to some working women who are striking a balance between work and household responsibilities.

Shazia Qadir Wani, 34, from Indra Nagar is a teacher by profession working at Birla Open Minds International School.

Besides staying busy with home chores all day long, working from home has added more responsibilities to Shazia.

“I have to work from home, so I am struggling to manage all the tasks. The time and energy required to schedule and manage entire household responsibilities and virtual learning side by side is a tough job,” said Shazia.

Shazia has to give online classes starting 10 in the morning till 2 in the afternoon.

“I close my laptop and let out a sigh of relief as I am done teaching for the day at 2pm,” said Shazia.

She said she loves teaching and at the same time loves being a mom.

“These are probably the two most demanding, challenging, and rewarding jobs in the world,” said Shazia.

Shazia’s son is a 3 year-old, and it is hard for her to manage online classes and take care of him.

“It gets funnier when he out of nowhere runs towards me during my classes, he loves seeing young children on my screen, so he tries to talk to them,” said Shazia.

Shazia said being able to work from home was not possible without her mother-in-law.

“She helps me with household chores and also takes care of my son making my work somehow easier, but sometimes I get tired from the excessive burdens of cooking, cleaning, coaching and caring for every detail at home,” said Shazia.

She however said work from home has its own pros and cons, before Covid-19 pandemic it was easy as I used to leave early in the morning and come back by evening.

“I used to remain in touch with my family over phone but now I am physically present at home, so things have become quite difficult for me as working on two things simultaneously is quite challenging,” said Shazia.

Shazia eagerly waits for holidays so she can spend quality time with her family.

“No doubt I am enjoying the work I am doing but I hope the pandemic ends at earliest so we can get back to our normal life,” she said.

Sheizma Bhat, 27, from Brein is working in the DC office Srinagar.

Working at the busiest office, Sheizma is no less than a frontline warrior, as she is out for 6-7 hours a day dealing with the public. She follows all necessary precautions to keep herself and her family safe and away from this deadly virus.

Balancing work and family obligations has long been the reality for women. This has remained true even as most women work outside the home and provide important contributions to household income.

Sheizma said I have to go to my office every day, there is no work from home for me.

She said, “I have to wake up early in the morning to clean the house, prepare breakfast, lunch and then leave for my work.”

Sheizma said it is a tough time for me as I have to go to the office everyday which makes me more prone to the virus. “I am scared and I live in fear as my father is diabetic and I have to maintain distance with him for his health’s sake.”

“When the woman steps out to support the economic needs of the family, it definitely does not mean that her family steps up to take over her role in the household,” she said.

 “Earlier my brother used to go to the college and stay busy with his work but now he is home all day,” she said.

She said, “My younger brother is so demanding, as soon as I get back home, he gives me a list of delicacies to prepare which has added more to my work.”

“Covid-19 pandemic has been hard on each household’s economy,” said Sheizma.

Sheizma was already supporting herself and her family before Covid-19 lockdown. She was shouldering most of her family’s responsibilities.

Tabish Yaqoob, 30, from Rawalpora who works in a corporate sector struggles between the household work and her office work.

“My work shift starts at 3:30 pm and ends at 12:30 am but I have to wake up early to do the household chores,” she said.

Tabish has to manage official tasks along with the household work.

“Lockdown has doubled my work as I have to work from home and work for home,” said Tabish.

She said she is super tired of this work as housework along with her office work has been a struggle for her.

“I honestly have not been able to devote so much time to my household work as I always feel a little bit pressure because I am too much occupied with my work as working in corporate is not easy,” she said.

Tabish at the beginning of the pandemic felt that home working would be divided more equally within the family members but now after one and a half year of pandemic equal distribution of work seems a joke to her as she is the only one looking after everything at home.

“Few years back my mother used to look after everything but now I have asked her to take some rest as she has endlessly worked day and night for us,” said Tabish.

Tabish said this pandemic has added more to her work but one good thing about the pandemic is that all of her family members were able to spend quality time together. 

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