A woman is an adult female human being
A woman is a member of a workforce
A woman is a female person associated with a particular place, activity, or occupation
A woman is a female person who is paid to clean someone’s house and carry out other domestic duties
A woman is a person’s wife, girlfriend or female lover
A woman is a person’s mother, sister or friend

In the current day a woman is a super human being trying to keep the world in one piece.
Not so long ago, my employer communicated to us that in the future we will be able to work remotely, and this was in the planning phase. There were talks of us not having a standard desk in the office, of going paperless working from homes, were all in the pipeline. Then COVID-19 happened, and the planning became reality almost overnight

Within a week, the novelty of working from home became a reality. We also realised that working from home was not as easy as we thought. Waking up early, cleaning and washing, dealing with my niece and homeschooling, taking care of my 85 year old mum who thinks I am on holiday and seeks attention, cooking, connecting to online team meetings, meeting deadlines, running the Temple and attending to pleas from community members who could not make ends meet during lockdown, all became part of a day’s work.

Challenges faced working from home were my mum talking too loudly during my meetings, tempting me to hit the mute buttons so that colleagues could not hear her. My office is set up in my bedroom so hubby walks in and out to utilise the ensuite or to charge his phone, but it is more to check that I am still intact, to be honest. It’s now 16 weeks into the lockdown, fulfilling a day’s work has become the new normal. We often hear that women are working longer hours from home to meet deadlines. We have broad shoulders and we persevere to perform these tasks and even more. In Hinduism it is said that women must be honoured and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands, sons: “Where the women are honoured, there the Gods are pleased”.

Going back to the pandemic, in the real world it has been discovered that male-run countries were seeing infections happen about 18 times faster than female run countries. Female leaders in the world have received praise for showing compassion, empathy and kindness. It is a “woman’s innate capacity for nurturing a child makes them care so much more about everything and other’s wellbeing”. During lockdown we jogged our memories and reflected on achievements of so many “wonder women”. I refer to Shakuntala Devi the “human computer and mental calculator” who even as a child calculated a range of figures faster than a computer often proving the model answer wrong. She died in April 2013. We have our own top Corvid-19 scientist Dr Glenda Gray who has done wonders for HIV treatment and has been a lot in the news recently. We remember the late Dr Gita Ramjee, world renowned HIV scientist who unfortunately died recently from the Corvid-19 infection.

My advice to women out there during lockdown is to love yourself, look after yourself, do your daily exercises, call family and friends to check on them, chat to friends on whatsapp. Create a link to keep in contact with your colleagues. Meditate. Do community work. My Temple has collected funds and provided 120 hampers to the needy of all races and religions during the lockdown, and we continue to assist community members in need.

On the broader front women continue to make a huge impact in the world.On the lighter side, chess is the only game in the world which reflects the status of the husband. The poor King can take only one step at a time….. while the mighty Queen can do whatever she likes.

Article by Sally Naidoo