Indians Support Gender Equality
Let’s look at how Indians regard male-female interactions. When asked if they agree with the phrase “men in the family should be primarily responsible for making financial decisions,” Indian women (81%) are slightly less likely than Indian men (82%) to say they either definitely or largely disagree.
Financial decisions are either made jointly or predominantly by Indian women
In another case, when asked if “sons should have the primary obligation to care for their parents as they age,” 37% of Indian women and 40% of Indian men agreed. In other words, some Indian parents believe that their sons must care for them in their old age. While the majority of them, 63% of Indian women and 60% of Indian men, disagree with the assertion. In that instance, they would expect their boys and daughters to share the responsibilities. Or for their daughters to take the lead, but they would not want to burden any of their children. Similarly, 67% of Indian women and 66% of Indian men believe sons and daughters should have equal rights to inheritance from their parents.
When asked if “a wife must always obey her husband,” 14% (women) and 11% (men) disagreed. Raising alarms of concern. However, based on the previous responses regarding the dominant role of women over decision-making in households, one speculates that if the questionnaire had stated “a husband must always obey his wife,” the responses would have been similar. We can only speculate.
The above findings raise some poignant questions about the purpose of the research undertaken. Why is research conducted? What is the objective of the research? What is the critical importance of the questions being asked? The framing of the questions reveals a lot about the goal.
Returning to India: In India, both men (70%) and women (75%) support equal rights for both genders. With the many biases of the research and the lopsided nature of the questions, we can still conclude that India is on the right path to gender equality.