During the Lockdown Women are More Stressed Than Men 

Pandemics affect men and women differently. We are not just living through a public health crisis, but also an economic one, where women are experiencing higher levels of depression, anxiety whereas men are experiencing higher rates of post-traumatic stress. The coronavirus lockdown in India has ironically doubled the burden: work-from-home and work-for-home. There is a very clear gender dimension to it(the lockdown) because most Indian households, don’t have equal sharing of household work. Even a child's need will expand during the lockdown as they are also suffering and mothers have to take care of their needs. So the question may arises to mind, "How will the Pandemic Affect Women?"


The husband and the wife may be both working from home, but the load will be disproportionately borne by the women. Indian women do "unpaid work" nearly six months a day, whereas Indian men, spend less than one hour each day. In Urban middle-class Indian families, the difference is evened out by the presence of a range of domestic helpers. Thanks to the Indian upbringing system, there is nothing more regressive in India than watching boys lounge around the house as they were told by their parents that their life is outside the house.


Everything was fine before this epidemic. Men and children who used to go out for work and school. Working women also spend some time in the day in their workplace. On the other hand, those who are housewives can also need some me time.  As a result of this lockdown, everyone is now locked in the house. In the beginning, it was an opportunity to spend quality time with the family. Now, these long periods of lockdown have become stressful for women. 24/7 Now everyone is at home and a woman is constantly keeping up with the demands of all the members of the family constantly, that is about their food, cleaning the house, utensils, etc. A woman is physically and mentally exhausted from meeting family members' demands all day long.


This lockdown has also changed the sleep patterns of people in India. 67 percent of people in India are suffering from sleep deprivation as per a recent study which was conducted by a Bengaluru-based sleep solutions startup. A working woman is not getting enough sleep due to household work and professional commitment. Similarly, housewives are also feeling frustrated with doing household chores. Due to this lockdown, there are some common problems for women like lack of sleep, feeling of frustration, pressure, guilt, fear, and anxiety.


According to countries helpline survey, women call in distress as they or their children are being abused home either mentally or physically.  The increased violence is not just a result of frustration due to physical confinement, but the pandemic has brought global slowdown, massive economic dislocation, unemployment often accompanied by the threat of hunger and poverty.


Stress may lead to a change in the menstrual cycle. Coronavirus chaos is set to wreak havoc on women's sexual and reproductive health also. Women are losing their ability to plan their families and protect their bodies and health. If the lockdown continues for a few more months, then a lack of contraceptive measures will lead to unintended pregnancies and increase the population.


OK! being single is not at all bad, but it is a hard time if you are a single mother, student, or staying away from home. If you are in quarantine solo, you might be envious of all those families having fun at home and couples posting photos of themselves, cuddling up on the couch. To help you out, I can suggest staying busy, go online, cook, manage your anger, jealousy, stress, anxiety, practice gratitude, talk to family and friends but don’t text your toxic Ex.

The pandemic and ongoing lockdown have exacerbated symptoms like anxiety, stress, insomnia rise as people fret over the future.  Mental and Physical health has a direct relationship with stress. With no clarity on how and when the lockdown and isolation will end, it makes sense to take charge of what is under our control. A self-care routine, adequate sleep, meditation, sharing your problems with your near and dear ones might help to overcome the situation.     

Author: Sreeparna Roy