The first is a response to positive discrimination- the prmotion of women to repair the imbalances in the workplace means that successful women can be accused of being there because of their sex and not their talent. The same is true of ethnic successes where their promotion has been encouraged. A sad situation, IMO- the idea was to help women, but the effect has often been negative.
Being a woman, it is a political representation to have her in a kitchen, which is traditionally the place for a woman. I'm not sure of the significance of the unwashed dishes, unless it meant that she was a slattern.