There’s a sexist stereotype that dictates a woman’s place is slaving away in the kitchen.
It is the idea that we, as women, are responsible for selflessly preparing meals for our families.
This article in The Times of India shows how this traditional argument is moot when it comes to cooking as a profession. “A peep into the stuffy, hot kitchens of hotels will reveal that it is a male-dominated space, where women chefs are a rarity.” The reason being that Indian women often cannot work the long hours like the men because of their maternal role in the family. There are women who pursue this line of work in India, though it’s pretty rare.
Also, women must work extra hard to prove they deserve to be there just as much as their male counterparts. Another fact that deters women from the job is the stereotypical idea that women should work hotel jobs such as reception or concierge as opposed to hiding their beauty and assets in a kitchen. In order for a woman in India to be an elite restaurant chef, it’s often important to have a hotel on her résumé—the brand name helps their reputation.
As women in India continue to campaign for their rights in general, only time will tell what will happen with female Indian chefs’ fight for equality.