PM Modi: Tell Indian Men to Do an Equal Share of Household Chores in Your Next Speech

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Dear PM,

Lockdown ke bahane se ek baat yaad aaya
Ghar-bandi mardon ko kya kisi ne samjhaya
Ghar ka kaam ‘aurat ka hai’ bolke usne thukraya
GDP ki baat chhoro, apno ne bhi bhulaya.

Tab socha kyu na Modiji se baat chalaye
Ki agle speech mein mardon ko yeh yaad dilaye
Ghar ka kaam har din hai sabka
Lockdown mein phir kam kyu badhta?
Bhaagidaari hi hai zimmedaari
Kya barabari nahi India ko pyari?

If Mr Modi can inspire us to light lamps and clap in solidarity, he can inspire us to correct an unfair norm that discriminates against women in every home.

I’m Subarna, a working mother from Mumbai. Being homebound has defined this lockdown for most of us who have a home. And the effort required to keep our homes functional and families cared for has never been more evident.

While COVID-19 has brought upon us a sudden, multi-dimensional crisis, the resulting lockdown has forced us to confront the long-pending issue of unpaid care work shouldered by women in our homes.

Unequal distribution of unpaid household work has rendered the harshest blow to women across India during this lockdown. Yet, women’s care work continues to be invisible and no one wants to address this gross imbalance.

The need to recognise and redistribute unpaid household work equally amongst men and women is not new. As per an OECD Development Centre paper (2014), Indian men devote only 36 minutes to unpaid care responsibilities while women spend six hours doing it every day.

I live with my husband and two children in India’s urban heartland. And I feel exhausted bearing this unfair share of the workload. The fatigue from being overworked is palpable amongst women in most Indian homes. Some even bear the ‘double burden’ of having a paid job.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi called for Indians to be self-reliant or ‘Atmanirbhar’.

Sign my petition asking Mr. Modi to talk to Indian men about doing equal share of care work within the household in his next speech.

Sign it NOW to build fair families and equal homes!

Support #ChoresHaveNoGender

(Image Credit: A clip from the Hindi film Ki and Ka)