A private-job holder, Nowshin is currently working from home. She lives with her parents in Dhaka. Her mother has suspended their only house help, a part-timer, in fear of the coronavirus.
"My father does not do any of the household chores," she told this correspondent, adding that he refuses to help in the kitchen or do any household task because these are "women's work".
"He watches my mother toiling in the kitchen for hours, cleaning dishes or mopping floors, but he never offers to help," Nowshin added.
It is now the mother-daughter duo who is doing all the work in the house, with the major chunk of burden always falling on her mother.
"When I talked to him about this, he simply said he cannot take up these responsibilities," Nowshin also said.
There are hundreds of other stories where men neglected household chores, termed them as "girly" and refused to acknowledge them as any work.
The Business Standard reached out to a number of families and found that in most cases, regardless of them working from home or not, women of the house are doing most of the chores while men are rarely offering any help.
Some women said that while their male family members just shop for groceries once a week, they do not participate or offer help in any other chores, adding that the shutdown has added to their troubles and disputes.
Women spend a large portion of the day in doing household chores but get little or no recognition for it.
That is because such works are not considered as contributions to the formal economy, as opposed to going to office and earning money, and hence is not visible in calculation of the country's GDP.
The Sustainable Development Goal 5, which advocates for gender equality and empowerment of women, has called for recognising the household chores performed by women as contributions to social and national levels.
Another example is Belal Hossain, a retired government official who lives in Dhaka with his wife, son and daughter-in-law.
His son and daughter-in-law are both working from home and also participating in household work. Instead of helping them, he criticises when his son helps his daughter-in-law.
"He got irritated at my husband for helping me in the kitchen," said the daughter-in-law, adding that her husband has been told not to do the "lowly women's jobs".
Domestic works are chores that women do to maintain the household and look after the family, and unfortunately, the society does not give these any economic value.
Such tasks include raising children, nursing the elderly, cooking, cleaning and numerous others. Even after so many years, these are considered as primary responsibilities of women everywhere around the globe.
As pointed out by UN Women, a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women, "Womenfolk do 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men. While families, societies and economies depend on this work, for women it leads to lower earnings and less time to engage in non-work activities".
Women are under unjustified burden of household chores and it is high time that a fair balance is struck between sharing the load of unpaid work among men and women.
According to the report titled "Care Work and Care Jobs for the Future Decent Work" published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), women spend four times more time compared to males in domestic non-salaried work at home.
According to ILO estimates (2019), 606 million working-age women (21.7 per cent) across the globe perform unpaid care-work on a full-time basis, compared to only 41 million (1.5 per cent) for men.
The report further claimed that the ideology of "male breadwinner family model" has not changed much in all these years – hence this gender bias in unpaid care work.
Men avoiding household chores are a global phenomenon. According to a study conducted by University College London and published last year in the journal titled "Work, Employment and Society", "gender norms remain strong" when it comes to household chores.
The study revealed that women do approximately 16 hours of household chores every week, while men do nearly six, reported the Independent.
But there is another side to this where men have taken charge of household work and significantly contributed to helping out their partners during the shutdown.
While talking to The Business Standard, businessman Russell said that ever since the shutdown began, he and his wife have been splitting the household chores between themselves and carrying them out accordingly.
"I do the dishes, while she cooks and so on. It leaves us with some 'we time', and meanwhile, the chores also get done," Russell said.
A woman, who is a wife and mother, already has a lot on her plate. If she is a working woman, her job adds some extra load on her already burdened life, Russell said.
"I also do the dusting and grocery shopping, while she feeds the children and puts them to bed," he added. Russell said he did not care about what others said or thought.
"People called me 'girly' and sometimes mocked me by calling me her 'puppet'," he said, adding, "Their remarks do not matter. What matters is how we change our mindsets and support our women in every step of the way".