New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) The Coronavirus pandemic which started last year has taken a heavy toll on the working mothers in India with significant reduction in their average sleep time and more than two-fold jump in time taken to care for elderly in the family, a nationwide survey showed on Friday.
Working mothers in the country are now sleeping for only 5.50 hours per day as compared to 6.50 hours every day on average in pre-Covid era (before 2020), a reduction of about 17 per cent.
They are now spending 01.50 hours more taking care of the elderly/others in the family than in pre-Covid times, according to a survey carried out by market research agency Market Xcel Data Matrix covering 1,200 working mothers across the country.
The pandemic has also altered working mothers' routine and lifestyle -- their time of exercise and entertainment has also been reduced significantly.
Juggling between various responsibilities, they are struggling hard to finish their office work and are spending 08.55 hours to finish office work as compared to 06.50 hours earlier. Their household work has also gone up with the absence of housemaids in many cases.
Moreover, the working mothers are spending more time on their children's education now, with the absence of proper guidance in schools. Around 30 per cent women reported more household chores since the pandemic started and about 26 per cent said there were more childcare responsibilities.
As many as 30 per cent women also reported mental health issues since 2020 while another 26 per cent said they were having some kind of physical health issues.
"The present pandemic situation has had a ripple effect on everybody's life. The working mothers have especially been impacted who are burdened and stressed working round the clock fulfilling professional responsibilities and household duties," said Ashwani Arora, Senior Vice President, Market Xcel Data Matrix, in a statement on the Friday.
"Multitasking and playing many roles simultaneously is gradually becoming hectic. Working mothers have to compromise with their exercise and sleep. Managing office and home school (of kids) at the same time at the same pace is definitely not easy and we need to give some extra care for the caregivers," Arora added.
For the survey, 1,200 working mothers, aged between 25-45 were surveyed in 17 states across the country.