ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

COVID-19 and Female Unpaid Labour

The Covid-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns have added to the unpaid household labour for women. However, to what extent is this event unique in doing so? In this article, we try to place the impact of the pandemic in the broader dynamics of household work performed by women. The article discusses the consumption-driven pressures in the household, alongside the increasing marketisation of women’s work in the domestic space.

The authors would like to thank the respondents for their time and insights. They are grateful to the Zubaan team—Laxmi Murthy, Ishani B, Bidisha Mahanta and Urvashi Butalia—for reviewing a previous draft, and to the anonymous referee for useful suggestions in improving the article.

Consider the case of a young couple in their 30s, both engineering graduates and working in the software industry. Following are some excerpts from an interaction with the wife, one of the many working–earning women in our study:

My husband was on an H1B visa and working in Boston at the time of our marriage. I had left my job in Hyderabad and there I was, cooking, cleaning, coping with my life in the US. It was not easy. My husband and I would travel out every month, go for little treks and visit places nearby. But spending the weekdays without any real work was frustrating. Suddenly I had no income of my own.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

Pay INR 50.00

(Readers in India)

Pay $ 6.00

(Readers outside India)

Updated On : 13th Feb, 2023
Back to Top