Division of labour



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I am taking part in the #ShareTheLoad Challenge with Ariel and Aksharaat BlogAdda.

gender stereotype 1

With the advancement of culture and progress, civilizations came into existence typically characterized by social, political and economic growth accompanied by domestication of man and animal, specialization and division of labour, farming and expansion. Focusing on the phrase ‘division of labour’, which essentially means allocation of tasks to individuals based on their skills, knowledge and experience and thus we have farmer, weaver, tailor, builder and so on…

I reckon, the seeds of stereotyping jobs based on gender were sown then primarily due to biological and emotional traits that segregates the masculine and feminine genders. So men went outdoors to grow crops, build pyramids, made weapons essentially on the grounds of their superior physical strength while women stitched clothes, cooked food, took care of the household chores, brought up children and these tasks and tribulations were supposedly easier than the hard jobs on the fields and sites. And so this became a custom, pattern and second nature to the respective genders.

With revolutions happening across the globe in the early 18th century, rebellion and upheavals too took effect on the suppressed and discriminated women folk in terms of education, voting, holding political office and becoming active citizens and this led to the strong belief that women have strength of body, wisdom, mind and conduct. The shackles were gradually broken and women over decades fought gender discrimination and many broke the glass ceiling to become successful and worked shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. India too changed dramatically in the last couple of decades with gender equality occurring in every field of activity thereby becoming a very forward thinking state at least in the urban scenario. But on the home front, things remained static and stagnant with man and women doing the chores that have been assigned to them as a result of the laws of nature and due to division of work.

When we were young, I remember my mom directing me and my brother to make our beds, put the clothes in the laundry basket, do small household chores in the absence of the housemaid, get things from the shop like veggies and fruits which laid the foundation of #share the load…there was apportionment of work and fragmenting of the chores based on our ages and not on gender. The basic premise of stereotyping, such as “this is a man job or this is a woman job’, was stifled and smothered and each one of us was implanted with chipping in to do the tasks! These drills were ingrained in my DNA and as I assumed responsibilities of similar stature such as that of my mom, they were passed on with a flourish and the old order continued unabated.

Naturally, there were three helping hands to share the burden without any fuss, clear demarcation of duties and responsibilities made lives easier and less stressful. The folks became only too eager to partake in the mundane of home tasks, maybe to escape from their own humdrums and treadmills of academics and pedagogy!!!

Dads #ShareTheLoad


The real equality, empowerment and enrichment of women materialize when there is recognition and realization of the work load and the ability to translate that sympathy into empathy and to action by donning the roles. This does not necessarily imply reversal of roles but partaking in the burden that brings joy and happiness in the family. I am extremely delighted to share the Yeomen service of Akshara foundation (readers may get to know more about them at http://www.aksharacentre.org/) that has changed the lives of women and girls and unequivocally fought for gender equality.



Join me in spreading the message to gen y about gender equality and the real enrichment of women.



40 thoughts on “Division of labour

  1. You have so nicely built the proposition to support the cause of gender equality. I completely endorse the fight and right of woman empowerment and gender equality.

    Yes, there is a strong historical connection to the today’s prejudices and bias that is heavily loaded against the women community. Especially the division of work and the assumption continues that certain type of work can only done by man and cannot be done by woman and when woman does it and does it better that man, it is not accepted by those section of society who have been carrying different judgement about woman.

    Time has changed and today with the digital revolution and nature of work undergoing a radical shift and the work that man can do is done better by woman. There is healthy competition and equal opportunity for both gender and it’s time to look at work independent of the gender. Yes, age is a factor and should always be considered while giving or taking work from people but not the gender…wishing you very best for the contest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am indeed fascinated by the efforts that you take to comment on the posts, it is an absolute delight to read them(sometimes even longer than my posts!:)) Though I may be a strong advocate of gender equality through this post, I sometimes feel that women are overdoing on this front and trying to emulate whatever men do sometimes at the behest of their biological make up which is hugely detrimental to their health and welfare..I mean sports like wrestling, weightlifting and other arduous activities. Yes, I do agree that women can work shoulder to shoulder with men on many fronts and probably outshine in many aspects.All the same, I strongly feel that a line of demarcation must be clearly drawn on what is possible. More often than not, it is a case of pseudo gender equalization and denying men the chances of excelling and achieving. Typical cases of female chauvinism..

      Nihar, Participating in contests is solely for keeping me active on the blogger front and winning has never been a habit or trend!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are spot on by saying that line of demarcation must be clearly drawn, and pseudo gender equalization is something not good for healthy progress of humankind. Yes, there are certain set of works suits more one gender than the other and the acceptance of that makes its better for a balanced co-existence that doesn’t take away one doing more than the other in many sphere, especially sports as rightly pointed out. To bring about that broader gender equality there has to be a give and take between both the gender and perception can change when we are ready acceptance the change. It is more in our mind and the way we look at the other half of our life.
        Thanks so much for taking the discussion forward and sharing such lovely perspective and you carry such a balance and impartial point of view on the topic.
        Blogging is all about the conversation we have through the exchange of ideas through the comment section and I love that part of blogging, which takes me a step forward in being a better member of this wonderful community.

        Liked by 2 people

      • You said it Nihar..the comments section is a great conversation between bloggers, wherein we gain insights, knowledge, perspectives, thoughts and opinions. Glad that you participate in them seriously and express yourself so eloquently.


  2. Very nicely elaborated with historical references. Gender inequality is deep-rooted in our genes, worldwide. Such awareness programs like #ShareTheLoad can help people at least to some extent to get rid of them… 🙂

    All the best with the contest… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Charity begins at home. Likewise any societal paradigm shifts require the very base in this case the family to first embrace equality in true sense or acts like this…. Good initiative and you nailed it with relevant pointers and anecdotes.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Very nicely written.But we have miles to go regarding gender equality in the case of economically weaker sections and rural population.There is a big role for governments, society and families in bringing about the change quickly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes..beyond doubt about that KP sir but I am of the opinion that on many fronts, women are snatching the jobs from men who sometimes may be the sole bread winners like for example, here in Bengaluru, the jobs as drivers in metro are now becoming female dominated domain making it somewhat lopsided and favouring unduly the women folk which I think is unfair. This is something similar to reservations of the socially backward classes in jobs making the forward community cringe.


  5. Nicely researched piece. The touch of history , liked it. Something to mull over for all of us.

    I had left a comment on your hope detonators post too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • History has lot of lessons- good and bad for us to ponder over and take correction course wherever and whenever necessary…
      Thanks Sathya for sharing your thoughts on this one.


  6. Sunita, I congratulate you on this well structured and well- analysed article on gender equality. You have explained well the historical needs that would have led to segregation of jobs for different genders, and the stereotyping of those even when the requirements are no longer relevant. As you have rightly pointed out,gender equality must begin at home, and in our minds. Hope the message spreads far and wide. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This article needs to be shared Sunita! I love your style of writing of course but this is a much needed topic to be discussed…Kudos & much respect to your mom for instilling these qualities!!Gook luck with the contest!
    Eager to explore more of your blog

    Liked by 2 people

  8. the historical references rightly bring out that it dates back to the times unknown….but I think times are changing and generation now is much for aware and responsible in understanding that all work is mutual…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It indeed is good if all family members share the load together. It happens only rarely however, in most cases women, even those who are working, taking up most of the household duties. Gender should not be the basis of discrimination. You have put well the entire argument in your post.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. A really strong message, powerful post and worth a read..
    Opened up new perspective within me on this.. thank you for bringing this in dear.- Cezane

    Liked by 1 person

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