I came across this story in Mumbai: A 36-year-old female police constable died of work overload. She suffered from stress and hypertension.
The main report, the allied reports and the husband’s version all highlighted the fact how her taxing office schedule – stretching to 12 hours a day – was the culprit. Doctors’ version on how the work timings in police job are erratic and far too long was taken. However, there was simply no discussion on what her husband too acknowledged: The woman returned home after 12 hours of duty only to tend to the household chores.
Did that not add to her already stressed out life?
I am not suggesting the women should refrain from all household work because she they are employed. However, we all know by experience that the majority of this burden invariably falls on women. The work that should be shared by all members of the family becomes a sole person’s duty.
Surveys have shown how Indian women are the most stressed out in the world.
Analytical reports in foreign publications have highlighted, often with horror and disbelief, that “it wasn’t at all rare to hear of successful professionals who woke up at 4:30 a.m. to make breakfast and lunch for children and parents-in-law, put in a full day at work, then returned home to clean up after the extended family and prepare dinner”.
The reports have added how women, in an attempt to conform to the paradigm of “ideal daughter,” “ideal wife,” and “ideal daughter-in-law,” lose on a personal space altogether.
When women work professionally in India, we feel it is a privilege they must pay for.