Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: Mothers warn that they suffer heavy wear in the middle of the quarantine

Experts suggest, in a note published this Tuesday by El Mercurio, that work should be made more flexible and establish joint responsibility with parents, companies and the State. Javiera Reyes, a sociology scholar at UC, highlights that work-life balance incentives should be created for men and women, where personal life is reconciled with employment.

“Companies are also required to work on policies that break these male taboos. It does not make you less of a man to take care of your baby, or your mother or a sick elderly adult at home,” says the UC academic Javiera Reyes. 

“The announcement of the new quarantine confirmed the worst nightmare for many working moms,” says commercial engineer Andrea Santander in a letter to the editor of ” El Mercurio” , published on Saturday. She argues that during confinement women become “jugglers “And he questions:” Why does everything continue to work normally? Nobody has moved schedules that do not fit with the online classes, nobody has relaxed delivery times, nobody has raised greater flexibility “. The professional also questions what else should happen to allow changes in the habits of mothers: “That we go back in the female labor market of twenty years ago, that 80% of the CEOs of companies are mothers, that is, years light, or we finish all licenses before we go crazy. ”

The executive director of Comunidad Mujer, Alejandra Sepúlveda, warns that Santander’s letter “comes to put a face on a phenomenon that has multiple edges and that is the care crisis in Chile.” And she adds that this reveals “how women are in total inequality of conditions.”

The director of the Department of Equality and Gender at the University of Chile , Carmen Andrade, affirms that “women have always had to juggle”, but stresses that “the pandemic has exacerbated it.” For this reason, the former Minister of Women says that there must be a cultural change that implies, for example, that women are not obliged to support their children educationally, because “if not, they will not have the day.” It also suggests that during the pandemic work goals are made more flexible, since “employers cannot expect normal work rhythms to be maintained in this situation that is not normal. In the long term, Andrade highlights the need to establish the“Social co-responsibility”, in which men, companies and companies are involved and where “the State has to have care policies” so that children, the elderly or the sick can attend during working hours.

Javiera Reyes, a Sociology academic at the Catholic University, agrees , who stresses that incentives for work-life balance should also be generated for men and women, where personal life is reconciled with employment, “and with this it is required that companies also work on policies that break these male taboos. It does not make you less of a man to take care of your baby, or your mother or a sick older adult at home ”.

In this sense, the Minister of Women , Mónica Zalaquett, affirms that they have taken actions to support women in this context, such as the Protege Subsidy – which grants working mothers $ 200,000 for each child under two years of age – and highlights the urgency of advancing in the Universal Nursery Law. Of course, it recognizes the need to generate changes, since the result of two surveys carried out in 2020 reveals that “most men feel that the way in which housework is distributed is fine. And when you talk to women you see how unequal it is ”.

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