It has been over a month that countries across the world are under lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Amid the lockdown, people, in quarantine, are working from home. Notably, work-from-home comes with its set of rules and responsibilities in order to maintain a work-life balance. For working women with children, these rules and regulations are more challenging than men or any other members of their families.
Over the period of time, women have mastered the art of balancing their personal and professional lives, emerging as ‘Superwomen’. However, during the Coronavirus lockdown, the stress has transformed manifold. And, no domestic help definitely adds to the troubles. From cooking and cleaning to taking care of kids and meeting office deadlines, women are juggling between domestic chores, family expectations, and office video-conferences with little to no support.
As per reports, the lockdown and increased work pressure are taking a toll on the mental health of the people, especially women. According to a research by the Esprimi and Richmond Foundation, the psychological impact of Coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown is worse for women than men. Notably, the virus may be more deadly for men but it seems to be hurting women even more.
For many women, working in an office provided them with an escape from their daily household routine. Now, they are expected to home-school their child, fulfill every demand of their husbands and in-laws, and attend office Zoom calls all at once while being confined to their homes. While some male members are providing a helping hand, the onus to manage the house while handling their office still lies predominantly on the women, many of whom have expressed the desire to return back to their offices as soon as the lockdown lifts.
And tip of the iceberg, the lockdown has led to a surge in domestic violence due to unprecedented factors. While the authorities across the world have reported a surge in cases of domestic abuse due to COVID-19 lockdown, a recent report by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is suggesting that the number could increase to at least 15 million more cases worldwide by the end of this year. As per the UNFPA report, tens of millions of women and girls, stuck at their homes, are at risk of losing the ability to protect their bodies and health. This can lead to an increase in unintended pregnancies and child marriages.
Certainly, the lockdown has not benefitted everyone.