“Arey tum ladki ho, shaadi chalane ke liye thoda sehen karna padta hai.”
In our patriarchal society, it is very common for parents to tell their daughters or daughters-in-law to endlessly compromise and adjust for the sake of marriage.
From not speaking her mind out to accepting husbands’ or in-laws’ physical and emotional abuse, our society usually advises women to suffer in silence.
While our society treats women as a liability, it makes us wonder – how our young men and women think about equality:
Do they have different thoughts than earlier generations?
Do they believe women deserve equal rights at home, work and in society in general?
Do they believe women are still a liability?
In order to understand this better, a survey was conducted by a Mumbai-based Non-profit organization, named Akshara Centre. As per sources, Akshara Centre took an initiative called “Big Small Steps” and conducted a study to get to the bottom of the status quo on equality between men and women in the major cities.
They conducted a survey on a total of 6,428 young people, ranging between the age group of 15-29 years in which 3,364 were men and 3,064 were women from eight Indian cities namely- Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Vijayawada, Ludhiana, Ahmedabad, and Bhubaneshwar.
From this survey, they concluded that:
79.2% of men and 87.4% of women said that men and women should have equal rights in society.
Whereas, amongst the youth, 58.7% of men and 78.7% of women opposed the archaic mindset of not allowing women in the temples and mosques.
While we were happy with these findings, some other heartbreaking data also came to light:
50% of men believed that the last rites of the parents should be performed by men only. While 31.3% of women believed that social traditions should remain unchanged.
Apart from all these notions, another belief that is prevalent among the youth is that a woman cannot work and handle household chores simultaneously, to which 23.5% of women agreed themselves.
A large proportion of men want women to be homemakers even in the bigger Indian cities.
Only 1.5% of men said that “basic cooking, cleaning, and washing” was their responsibility too. The rest of them stayed away from these everyday tasks to pride themselves on paying the bills.
But, the most shocking statement that came forward from this report was the perception of men toward the issue of domestic violence. The report showed that 42.6% of men said:
“Women should tolerate violence to keep the family together.”
If this isn’t the reminder of how rotten our mentality is then what would it be?
Since time immemorial, women are struggling with the curse of domestic violence. And, while a few only gather the courage to raise their voices, many still suffer in silence for the sake of their marriage and kids.
Looks like the dream of equality and freedom from domestic violence is still a distant dream for many women in our country.