Social distancing from house helps is exposing the Indian household’s unspoken sexism

For IT professional Charu Mathur, the coronavirus lockdown in India has, ironically, doubled the burden: work-from-home and work-for-home.

Over the past many days, she’s been fighting in vain to secure entry for her domestic help into her residential society that has barred outsiders since a Covid-19 positive case was reported from the shanty where Mathur’s maid lives.

“I DO NOT AGREE TO THIS RULE! I WILL GET MY MAID,” the 32-year-old wrote on March 22 on a WhatsApp group of female residents of her condo in Gurugram near New Delhi. “This is not (a) holiday for working people. It’s a work-from-home. Without the maid, it’s impossible to look after an infant, cook food for the family, and maintain hygiene.”

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