An article in a magazine, published by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Rajasthan government’s education department, has advised women to sweep, mop, draw water from the well and do other domestic chores to keep fit. The November issue of the Shivira Patrika listed 14 suggestions to stay fit.

The article drew criticism for publishing the list, with many terming it as “sexist”. The article also advised women to play with children, laugh out loud and use a stone grinder to get fit.

The publication’s editor and Director of Secondary Education, Nathmal Didel, while acknowledging that domestic activities should not have been specified as exercise specifically for women also defended the article. “But that is how it has traditionally happened in our society and the writer was probably influenced by that,” Didel told the Hindustan Times. “I assure you, there is no discriminatory intention behind this.”

Shivira Patrika

“This is taking women back to drudgery,” Komal Srivastav, a representative of Rajasthan-based NGO Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti told NDTV. “It is so retrograde, it reinforces old gender stereotypes.”