Work In the shadows: the invisible labour of women

It’s 1 May – Labour day, a date dedicated to the efforts of workers from around the world to create decent working conditions for themselves and the generations to come. Mariya A. Toneva, a 9th grader from the Hristo Botev Language School in Kardzhali, have spoken to three women about the invisible and unpaid work they do at home.


Everybody has at least one woman in their lives who is always there for them – she often asks: “how are you” or “take care of yourself, and you know she loves you. But one rarely thinks about her feelings or her opinion. What will happen if she disappears one day? This piece is dedicated to the women we take for granted and the inconspicuous work that they do at home, how society views it and whether these women feel appreciated. It is a topic that is rarely being discussed, so sCOOL Media took this challenge and will now present you three great women – Mariana, Daniela and Ana – with whom we will discuss the above questions.


Besides their job, the thing they think about the most their home and their family. ”Besides going to work, when I go home, I finish my housework and then I help my little child with its homework, if need be.” says Ana. She adds that she very much likes to take care of flowers and plants in the garden, which is also kind of housework. Mariana says that she is primarily involved with her family and describes her profession as a ‘’mother”. The same goes for Daniela: “Besides accepting work at home, I think I’m a good housewife. I care for my family as much as my strength allows me, and I do all the normal household duties.”


We rarely think, about how they actually feel and what they actually think about doing housework. Daniela says that sometimes she is feeling happy with her life, but sometimes not. ”I think I have a fairly mundane life, and sometimes it makes me sad, but the family is everything to me”, she says. Ana says that she is happy, but if she has more opportunity to travel, she would be even happier. “I love my family members and I think they love me too. Sometimes I get angry when they take me for granted but this is less common”, she adds. The same goes for her friend Mariana. “Sometimes my family reacts sharply or hurts me with their responses, but there is no complete happiness. In general, I feel best when I’m with my family”, she says. But the hectic life people live nowadays leaves little space for spending decent family time, according to Ana.


So far everything in this conversation has been about the family and housework, but what do these women think about their vocation? Daniela says that her vocation is to be a mother and to help people as much as she can. “A good parent and a good friend”, says Ana. Mariana shares similar thoughts and says that helping others is her vocation. “This gives me great pleasure!”, she adds. Also, she shares that after 10 years, when her children grow up, she will travel. “I love travelling! I will take a puppy to have someone I can talk to…”, she laughs. With smile on her face Daniela says that she see herself as a happy person, proud of what she has achieved, surrounded by her loved ones and still young. Ana also said that she sees herself after 10 years surrounded by people who loves her and people she loves. Again, everything is around the family…


This is life according to three great Bulgarian women who have dedicated their life to their families and house work. Very rarely do they find time for themselves while they put all their efforts in making others happy and satisfied. Let us think about their work and unseen contribution to society.