Women and children's well-being in Indian nuclear families during the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords:Childcare, COVID-19, Education, Mental health, Women
The culture of living in a nuclear family setting, a norm of modernisation, has been badly shaken by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This hit has created many pauses and changes in women's lives who live in nuclear families with the responsibility of taking care of very young children. Despite the various discussions related to women during the pandemic, there seem to be negligible efforts to understand the lived reality of nuclear family women having the responsibility of child care. The idea of living in this type of family is based on the thinking that it provides ample opportunity to develop individual talents and lead an unrestricted life. However, it can have a very adverse effect on women and children during the pandemic due to the closure of essential support systems such as child care centres and schools. Thus, this situation has a negative effect on the lives of women, which in turn, affects their young children's lives too. This study explored the lived experiences of a purposively selected sample of six women regarding challenges to deal with an office job, domestic work, and child care during the ongoing pandemic. Data were generated by conducting the telephonic semi-structured interview and thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Results indicate the curtailment of freedom and choices, adverse impact on the mental and physical health of women and their children.
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