Women do most of the domestic and parental work, even though they work from home.
With the containment imposed in order to best contain the coronavirus pandemic, the mental burden of some women in couples or with children has greatly increased. Disputes, domestic violence, child custody… many of them have had a very bad time in recent weeks. While the pandemic has raised awareness of the importance of health professionals, it has not, however, raised awareness of the unequal division of labor within the home between men and women, as Camille Froidevaux-Metterie, a feminist philosopher and professor of political science, explained when interviewed by Le Monde newspaper.
WOMEN WHO REMAIN SOCIALLY UNDERVALUED AND POORLY PAID
As Camille Froidevaux-Metterie reported in Le Monde, confinement has highlighted the vital importance of certain mainly female occupations, such as nurses, life support workers, cashiers, maintenance workers, and teachers. These professions are essential to the proper functioning of our society. Nevertheless, as the philosopher added, these professions are still too little considered and the women who practise them are very poorly paid.
According to Camille Froidevaux-Metterie, “in our common representations, these activities refer to supposedly feminine aptitudes. As women are the ones who bear and raise children, as well as those who take care of the elderly, they would be “by nature” willing to take care of others. Therefore, there would be no need to overpay for skills that are conceived as innate.”
LOCKDOWN AND COUPLINGS
Confinement has also had a significant impact on the mental workload of many women. Indeed, many women were forced to take on even greater domestic burdens, both in terms of child-rearing and emotionally, i.e. ensuring the psychological well-being of their loved ones, all while continuing to work.
While it was to be hoped that some men would become aware of the importance of participating in domestic tasks on an equal footing with women, a survey published in the New York Times on 6 May showed that this awareness has not really taken place. “On the contrary, we observe that women continue to do most of the domestic and parental work, including when they telework,” said Camille Froidevaux-Metterie.
Furthermore, confinement has aggravated the daily lives of women suffering domestic and intra-family violence, and the number of women suffering from domestic and intra-family violence has increased. “Let us hope that this will remain a priority for the ministry in charge of this issue. It should also be considered that many women will come out of confinement in a state of total exhaustion,” the philosopher also stressed.
Source : Le Monde