During a recent tour to Rajasthan, we came across several construction sites where we saw women being deployed in hard labor work. This is not an uncommon sight in India. Women make up about half of the construction labor force in India. Men do the machinery and building work, while women carry the construction materials (sand, bricks and stones). While these women may look slim and weak, due to years of hard work, they have incredible physical strength.
In this part of India, women are restricted from working in public places. In restaurants, hotels, shops etc, man is the dominant gender. Women either stay at home, or work in the farms or construction fields.
Women in Hindu families have a long way to go before they can consider themselves truly equal of men. Many Hindu men still entertain a traditional mindset and view women with sexist and judgmental attitude. Until that undergoes transformation, women may continue struggle under the weight of traditions, oppression of men, social and economic discrimination.
Men often have easier roles, such as supervisors.
Or as laundry workers
Or as shop keepers
Or just hang around chai stores.