If you thought that India is rapidly progressing on the path of women empowerment changing its perceptions towards gender quality, a major survey has revealed some sobering statistics.
The vast majority of Indians (64%) are of the view that the role of women in society is to become good mothers and wives and they should focus mainly on home, according to the findings of a global survey by Ipsos.
The Ipsos Global Trends Survey 2017 examined attitudes toward the role of women, parenting, and family across 22 countries, interviewing 18,180 adults.
"More Indian women maybe moving out of their homes, seeking employment and carving out a niche for themselves at workplaces, but society sees them more as accomplished mothers and wives in primary role, relegating other roles to secondary positions," Parijat Chakraborty, Executive Director, Ipsos Public Affairs, said in a statement.
(The role of women in society is to be good mothers and wives. Green: Agree; Red: Disagree)
Globally, men were more likely than women to think women should be good wives and mothers (41% to 34% on average), but those with religious beliefs were twice as likely to take the traditional view on gender roles, according to the survey. On average 69% of people across the 22 countries thought that men now have greater responsibility towards home and childcare, but fewer women think (64%) that men are are taking up a greater burden compared to what men reported (73%).
However, in a surprising finding, an overwhelming 81 per cent of Indian men think that men now have greater responsibility for the home and childcare than ever before.
"It is encouraging to see India leading the pack on men taking increased responsibilities for home and childcare than ever before – a whopping 81% of Indians conforming to this change," Chakraborty said.
(Men now have greater responsibility for the home and childcare than ever before)
"More Indian women maybe moving out of their homes, seeking employment and carving out a niche for themselves at workplaces, but society sees them more as accomplished mothers and wives in primary role, relegating other roles to secondary positions," Parijat Chakraborty, Executive Director, Ipsos Public Affairs, said in a statement. "Indian women cannot be seen shirking from domestic duties and winning accolades at work - at the cost of neglecting primary role that society has deemed on them."
Traditional views on marriage and family also continue to persist. When it came to having children, about eight in ten Indians or nearly 78% believe that it is better for parents to be married than unmarried. That is line with the prevailing belief globally with a few exceptions. While over seven in ten prefer marriage in Indonesia, India, Turkey, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the US, in four European countries the balance of opinion is the opposite. People in Spain, Belgium, France, and Sweden disagreed it is better to be married if you are having children.
(It is better for parents of children to be married rather than unmarried.)
Indians also prefer traditional parenting styles. About 72% of Indian respondents felt that there was further scope for parents to take more responsibilities for behavior of their children.
While globally, people remain divided over the role of women, but the majority still do not think women should stay at home and have children with stark variations in the views between those with religious faith and without.
"One thing that united people around the world was the belief that parents need to take more responsibility for the behaviour of their children – by which most mean I think, that "other" people should take more responsibility for "their" children, Chakraborty said.