Q.1. Why do you think that men and boys generally do not do housework?
Men and boys generally do not do housework because it is assumed that this is something that comes naturally to women. Thus, across the world, the main responsibility for housework and caregiving tasks lies with women.
Q.2. What are the expected responsibilities of women in the family?
Housework and caregiving tasks, like looking after the family, especially children, the elderly, and sick members, are the expected responsibilities of women in the family.
Q.3. Where are the Samoan islands located?
The Samoan Islands are part of a large group of small islands in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean.
Q.4. What is the daily schedule of a domestic worker?
A domestic worker’s day can begin as early as five in the morning and end as late as twelve at night.
Q.5. Were Harmeet and Shonali correct in saying that Harmeet’s mother did not work?
No, Harmeet and Shonali were not correct in saying that Harmeet’s mother did not work.
Q.6. What do we teach boys and girls from a very young age?
We teach girls to talk softly and boys to be tough.
Q.7. Discuss the initiatives taken by the government to promote equality between the male or female.
Government recognises that burden of child-care and housework falls on women and girls. This naturally has an impact on whether girls can attend school. It determines whether women can work outside the house and what kind of jobs and careers they can have. The government has set up anganwadis or child-care centres in several villages in the country. The government has passed laws that make it mandatory for organisations that have more than 30 women employees to provide crèche facilities. The provision of crèches helps many women to take up employment outside the home. It also makes it possible for more girls to attend schools.
Q.8. Why does Harmeet think that her mother did not work?
The main responsibility for housework and caregiving tasks, like looking after the family, especially children, the elderly, and sick members, lies with women. The work that women do within the home is not recognized as work. It is also assumed that this is something that comes naturally to women. It, therefore, does not have to be paid for. And that is why Harmeet thinks that her mother did not work.
Q.9. Why does our society devalue the housework women do?
The main responsibility for housework and caregiving tasks, like looking after the family, especially children, the elderly, and sick members, lies with women. But, the work that women do within the home is not recognized as work. It is also assumed that this is something that comes naturally to women. It, therefore, does not have to be paid for. And society devalues this work.
Q.10. How was the girls' school in Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s designed differently from the boys’ school?
The girls’ school was designed very differently from the boys’ school. They had a central courtyard where they played in total seclusion and safety from the outside world. The boys’ school had no such courtyard and our playground was just a big space attached to the school.
Q.11. “The work women do is strenuous and physically demanding.” Explain why?
Tasks like washing clothes, cleaning, sweeping, and picking up loads require bending, lifting, and carrying. Many chores, like cooking, involve standing for long hours in front of hot stoves. Thus, the work women do is strenuous and physically demanding.
Q.12. Define the term Double-burden.
The term Double-burden literally means a double load. This term is commonly used to describe the women’s work situation. It has emerged from a recognition that women typically labour both inside the home (housework) and outside.
Q.13. Why are girls and boys given different toys to play with?
Girls and boys are given different toys to play with because toys become a way of telling children that they will have different futures when they become men and women.
Q.14. How are domestic workers treated by their employers?
Despite the hard work domestic workers do, their employers often do not show them much respect.
Q.15. “As these girls walked on the streets, they looked so purposeful.” What it means?
It means that for the girls, the street was simply a place to get straight home.