Women’s Adaptability, Multiple Roles Maintained in the Work-Family Context: Covid-19 Experiences
Keywords:Adaptability, COVID-19, married women, work-family tasks, Sri Lanka
COVID-19 emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and since then has impacted work, family, and social life of people around the globe. The working community had to face difficulties and barriers due to increasing job insecurity and changing working environments during the pandemic. Employees around the world have experienced sudden, significant changes in their work and family roles. This study aims to examine the impact of COVID-19 on married women’s work-family balance during the lockdown in Sri Lanka. The research problem of the study is: Does the working woman maintain the balance of work-family environment? By applying the mixed research methodology, we draw on the quantitative data by surveying married women working from home to understand and analyse their adaptability to work from home during the lockdown within two months (from May to July 2020). In addition, in-depth interviews were conducted to gather qualitative data of the study selecting the purposive sampling method. The sample consisted of women with diversity in age, employment, and educational level. A majority of women reported working for long hours without any leave during the lockdown period. This study revealed that 57% of women could manage their household work and job-related work during the period, in contrast, only 43% of respondents could not do so. Even though there were several difficulties faced by married women, they successfully managed both, i.e., their job-related work and their family chores. While 43% of the respondents belonged to nuclear families, 57% of them belonged to extended families. Eighty-three percent of respondents reported high levels of support from husbands for housework and office work. In conclusion, although Sri Lankan women encounter significant difficulties, they are inclined to maintain a balance and adaptability between work-family tasks.
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Copyright (c) 2021 B.G.V.A.S.D.T. Batuwanthudawa, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Ruhuna, H.V.K. Piyumali
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.