Watch: Indians think women should work outside the home. Also, they should do the housework
There are clearly two contradictory points of view emerging – an outwardly feminist one, and the other, an inherently conservative idea of gender roles.
No surprises here. A majority of Indians think the primary responsibility of a woman is to be a good mother and wife. Only two more countries – Russia and Indonesia – have a higher number of people subscribing to this view about women.
This was the finding of the Global Trends Survey 2017, conducted by the French market research firm Ipsos. It surveyed 17,180 individuals across 22 countries to understand what people think of women’s roles at home and at the workplace.
Strangely, in the same survey, 79% of Indian respondents felt that women should hold positions of responsibility in government and private sector companies. Which means Indian men want women to be champions of both careers and of the household, without contributing significantly themselves to either aspect.
In fact, women’s participation in the workplace has fallen from 35% in 1990 to 27% in 2016. While more women are now opting for higher education, many of them do not enter the workforce because of the pressure to marry and have children. They end up contributing to the unaccounted, unpaid labour of household work. Among working women, India follows the global trend of women bearing the burden of housework among working couples.
These are clearly two contradictory points of view – an outwardly feminist one clashing with the other, inherently conservative idea of traditional gender roles.