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Why Is Balcony Many Women's Favourite Spot Of The House?

From curling up on the bamboo swing and listening to music to having a cup of coffee while starring at nature or having a quick chat with the neighbour, the balcony is their space—a spot they feel relaxed and can unwind.

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Kalyani Ganesan
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Women Favourite Spot At Home
Women and balconies have a pretty special connection. Have you ever noticed that many women, especially homemakers, spend their leisure time on the balcony? From curling up on the bamboo swing and listening to music to having a cup of coffee while staring at nature or having a quick chat with the neighbour, the balcony is their space—a spot they feel relaxed and can unwind.
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From waking up before everyone, cooking, sending off kids to school and husband to work, finishing up domestic chores, receiving kids from school, helping them with homework, preparing dinner, and going to bed as the last person, the life of an average Indian woman is filled with numerous responsibilities.

The prevalent gender roles and stereotypes in our country inherently dump all the household chores and parenting on women. While working women at least get to step outside when they commute to work, homemakers are denied that opportunity. A survey by "Time Use" from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, 2019 revealed that 50% of Indian urban women don’t leave the house even once a day due to the never-ending domestic chores. While this endangers their emotional and physical health, it also robs them of social life.

Women Favourite Spot At Home

The balcony is the woman's window to the outside world. Amidst the household responsibilities, they manage to spend a few minutes for themselves in the morning or evening, and if they're lucky, they get to say hi to the neighbour. Their social life is limited to just that, and that’s why balconies hold a really special place in their lives.

The balcony is also a place where women have the time and space to discover themselves. Some might indulge in gardening, some might read, some might journal their thoughts, some might paint, some might dance to music, some might work out, and some might just sit and look out at the greenery while sipping a cup of chai. It’s a place that’s all to themselves where they can prioritise their needs and just be themselves.

We’ve all grown up hearing jokes about how homemakers have an easy life and have a lot of time on their hands, but seldom do we realise that their lives are confined to four walls. In Thappad, we see Amrita waking up before everyone and spending a few minutes alone on the balcony with a glass of chai in her hand. We then see her getting so consumed by household chores that she barely gets any time for herself.

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In Kaatrin Mozhi, Viji tells a pigeon that she’s going to go out today to pay the electricity bill. She describes how her husband told her to pay the bill online, but as a homemaker, she needs some reason to step out of the house. She basically thinks out loud while sitting in the swing on her balcony because it is her safe space. While these scenes barely lasted a minute on screen, they sum up the "me time" of many homemakers.

For those of us whose mothers are homemakers, when was the last time we saw our mother go out of the house? In today’s digital world, we do everything from home. Bills paid, groceries delivered. So, the opportunities for women to go out have drastically reduced, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is exactly why the balcony has become many women’s favourite spot. The one place where they can get a view of the outside world. The one place where they can be themselves. The one place where they can be undisturbed—provided they don’t get interrupted even before they could get a sip of chai like Shashi in English Vinglish.


Suggested Reading: We Asked Homemakers What They Wish For On Women’s Day: This Is What They Said


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Views expressed by the author are their own

Women spending time on the balcony Homemakers in India
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