How covid-19 changed the relationship of women with the workplace
Women's work and livelihoods were adversely impacted in 2020. In this context, the report titled "Women and Work: How India fared in 2020" by Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE), in collaboration with The Quantum Hub, looks at trends and policy developments that came to shape and defined the life of women across India. These infographics reflect the key findings of the report.
"Policymakers, civil society organisations, economists, donors in the social sector, grassroots leaders are all trying to gauge the extent to which the pandemic has impacted women in a bid to chart out a gender responsive recovery plan."
"According to the Government of India’s data, women’s share in new payroll additions saw a gradual decline between June and August 2020; falling below the 20% mark in August, but bouncing back in September. However, the data for the upcoming months would be crucial, considering the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) forewarning that the pandemic is likely to widen inequalities in the labour market."
"A gender-disaggregated analysis of data available on the MGNREGA data portal reveals a slight decline in person-days worked by women in 2020-21 - which can be a possible outcome of the mass exodus of migrant workers from urban areas after the nationwide lockdown in March 2020, leading to more men seeking employment under the scheme in rural areas."
"In India, a large proportion of women have remained cut off from one of the largest technological revolution of our times. Mobile and internet access (for Indian women) remains one of the lowest across the globe. While this has historically prevented women from accessing financial services, information and news, and education and work opportunities, these differences were further exacerbated and led to difficulties in accessing relief packages and information during COVID-19 as well."
"According to the data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the labour participation rate, both at the urban and rural level, seems to have been affected the most during Phase-I of the economic lockdown in April. Unemployment rates were higher among women than men, and more so in urban areas."
A new report covers economic and social indicators (like female labour force participation, barriers to work and livelihoods, financial inclusion, digital access, skilling, education and violence against women) that played a central role in determining women’s role in the Indian economy. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images/AFP) (AFP)
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Imagined worlds: The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art is showcasing a work by Raqib Shaw, which has not been shown in the public sphere so far. True to the artist’s signature style, this work too draws on iconography from the East and the West. It stands out for its comment on the violence that has spread through the world today, destroying the beauty of cultures and places in its wake
Metaphysical ideas in metal: Interior designer Vikram Goyal has unveiled a new series of sculptural pieces at the fair, taking his engagement with materiality and craftsmanship to the next level. Especially interesting is ‘The Tree of Good Fortune’ set of sculptures, which draws from the Brutalist style. “Each limb is made with multiple, unpolished parts in brass, the studio’s signature material, welded together with exposed edges and a patinated gold surface,” states the artist note.
Stitching personal narratives: Shrine Empire is presenting a series of thread works by Renuka Rajiv. The artist, in works such as Virus Body and Blood Tradition, brings together their childhood interest in fabric and the handmade. Using techniques like tie-dye and embroidery, and materials such as old garments of family and friends, Rajiv’s works have always been deeply autobiographical—often being a comment on gender, sexuality, and relationships.
Capturing paradoxes: One gets to observe two facets of artist Shivani Aggarwal’s practice as part of an outdoor project as well as the showcase by Studio Art at the fair. Her massive steel-finished fibreglass sculpture, How do I Measure The Scale, placed outside, aptly looks at the paradoxical attempts at measuring the intangible. At the Studio Art booth, you can see a set of five wooden newspapers, as part of Lost Stories—Time and Transformation, which look at the transient nature of news, the idea of preserved time and attempts at small radical changes by the common citizens.
Feminism in gold-and-white: A childhood memory of her ammamma, or grandmother, in a kasavu mundu veshti has informed artist Lakshmi Madhavan’s practice. The smell and fabric of the kasavu textile, now a dying art practised only in Balarampuram, Kerala, has stayed with her. “The kasavu mundu veshti comes with highly coded designs and ways of wearing, depending on its wearer’s gender, class and caste,” states the artist note. Madhavan, who is the artist-in-residence at the fair, has created a series of gold-and-white panels, Hanging by a Thread, with the words ‘some/body’, ‘every/body’, ‘no/body’, woven into the border to highlight the fact that the very weavers who create the textile are not allowed to wear it. The panels are being presented by the Devi Art Foundation.
Transcending boundaries: Mrinalini Mukherjee is known for defying categorisation—through her career she sculpted unusual anthropomorphic forms in fibre, which defied scale, and were erotic, sensual and unsettling at the same time. Now, one can see a different facet of her practice at the Jhaveri Contemporary booth, which is showcasing rare works in bronze by the artist along with a pair of watercolours. The set of reflective landscapes feature muted colours—in her signature style—and inky tones.
A vibrant showcase: Galleria Continua, which has spaces in San Gimignano, Paris, Beijing, Dubai, and more, has an eclectic presentation at the fair, featuring works by Ai Weiwei, Kiki Smith and Nikhil Chopra. German-born, American artist Smith, who is known for her figural work themed around regeneration, sex and the natural world, is showing her acclaimed work, Shadow, which features celestial motifs. Then there is Osvaldo González’s Camino, which makes use of LED lights, and showcases the artist’s fascination with space.
A pioneering practice: New York-based Aicon Contemporary is showing a poignant series of works, Allah (an acrylic on canvas) and an untitled painted wood piece by Rasheed Araeen, a Pakistan-born, London-based artist, writer, activist and curator. According to the gallery, the artist is recognised as the pioneer of minimalist sculpture in Britain. “His work in performance, photography, painting and sculpture throughout the 1970s to 1990s challenged Eurocentrism within the British art establishment and his curation and writing championed the role of artists from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean,” states the note. Since the 1970s he has published his own art journals and authored several books, with Islam & Modernism being the latest, published in 2022.
All the world’s a stage: Hyderabad-based Kalakriti Art Gallery is presenting a new body of work, titled ‘Masquerade: An Endless Drama’, by Avijit Dutta. He uses tempera to reflect on the theatricality of life, with different scripts and characters engaging with one another. “An unseen tug of war thrives- between creative liberty and concept notes, fact and fiction, love and false affection, class, and mass. Truth is lost in this whirlwind melee of pretence and projected reality,” states the curatorial note about the premise of this set of artworks.
Hybrid worlds: The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art is showcasing a special artist project, ‘Alternate Evolutions’, by Shrimanti Saha. The artist creates vivid visual worlds out of paper cutouts and drawings. Unhindered by a frame or borders, these visuals spread across walls like an “organism”. “The installation assumes multiple (after)lives, having been conceived in the various studios and residency spaces that she has worked in,” states the curatorial note. Saha has also extended these cut-out drawings into her animations, in which she approaches the moving image with the temperament of a painter.
The body as a site of art: Experimenter has brought extremely thought-provoking works to the fair by artists like Sohrab Hura, Adip Dutta, Biraaj Dodiya, Julien Segard, Kallol Datta, Kanishka Raja, Praneet Soi, Sahil Naik, and more. Make sure to view the work, Self Portrait at Dawn, by Bhasha Chakrabarti, who is deeply interested in exploring the world through the body and the skin as a medium. Her ongoing show at Experimenter-Ballygunge Place, curated by Shaunak Mahbubani, reflects on this aspect of her practice, in which she looks at gestures enacted by wrists, fingers, calves and feet in moments of togetherness. (Seen here: Sohrab Hura, ‘The green dress,’ 2022 – Ongoing)
Mirroring reality: New York-based Israeli artist Yigal Ozeri is premiering his series, ‘Americana’ at the Bruno Art Group’s booth. The set of photo realistic works are dedicated to the ‘diner’ as an American pop culture icon. This year is all the more special as it marks the gallery’s tenth year of participation at the fair. Ozeri is known for his large-scale cinematic portraits of women framed against lush landscapes. “With tinges of Pre-Raphaelite aesthetics, Ozeri brings an ethereal and uninhibited sensibility to his paintings,” states the gallery note.
New stories in miniature: Gallery Espace is presenting a new series of miniature paintings by Udaipur-based artist Waswo X Waswo. Titled ‘Last Ride in the Wild,Wild, East’, this new body of work features elements of realism with the fantastical. This series has been produced in collaboration with the 29 year old Chirag Kumawat, who is making his debut at the fair. As always, Waswo presents deeply-layered works, in which the unfamiliar shares space with recognisable imagery. (Seen here: Last Ride in the Wild Wild East (detail 1), 2022)
A different way of seeing: Akar Prakar is showcasing a set of works by artist Jayashree Chakravarty, who is known for her innovative techniques using organic material and paper. Especially interesting is her work, Rajbari, made with oil, acrylic, cotton, tea stain, grass, seeds, roots, jute and synthetic glue on canvas. One has to closely observe her creations to understand the many parts that come together as a whole. Nature and metamorphosis feature as themes in her practice in a big way—something that she attributes to the time spent in Santiniketan. Some of her other works at the fair include Simmering Synergies and Alien Sphere.
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Vaishali S. greets the crowd after presenting her collection
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How covid-19 changed the relationship of women with the workplace