The other day, I had dinner with one of my new friends, a prominent female figure in her country, Kazakhstan. We talked about many things and mostly we were exchanging small information about our past as it happens in every new relationship.
She was telling me stories about her family and how they coped after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the independence of Kazakhstan from the motherland Russia. She described this period as “the years of starvation”. No jobs,no money,no food.
Interestingly, she mentioned herself and her sister as the main force of rescuing her family. They went out to find any kind of job they were able to do in order to support their mother and 3 brothers. And they weren’t the only women that they did so. During this harsh period, mostly the women went to work as unskilled workers, no matter of their education and status. The men, like her brothers, stayed at home cocooning with company their pride. My friend added “sometimes women didn’t want their man to work in low skilled jobs, so they took all the responsibility, in order to protect them from humiliation”.
During my friend’s story telling, I was contemplating about the women in Greece of the crisis and the uncountable examples of Greek educated women who are working in supermarkets cash counters, painting jobs … Many of them are the sole breadwinners of their family because they Can(for multiple reasons).
When the real crisis knocks the door, the masks come off and we can see how far we have come from the time that Virginia Woolf said “for most of history, Anonymous was a woman”.