Marriage is an institution where two people decide to spend their life together. It’s supposed to be an equal partnership or an equal relationship but the question is how true it is in India? In our country, you still see men as breadwinners and women as homemakers. I know that times have changed and things are surely different from what it was a few years back. But I believe there is still a major mindset change required when it comes to gender roles after marriage in India.
Gender Roles after Marriage in India
Although there is a huge difference in gender roles when it comes to small towns or villages in India, I have observed this in progressive families as well. The so-called progressive people (males and females both), sometimes behave in a regressive way. The inequality between a husband and a wife is prominent in our country and our society and its norms are responsible for it.
Sharing a few examples which show people’s mentality-
I allowed my wife to work.
He has given full freedom to his wife to do whatever she wants to do.
I am earning good, why do you need to work? You can stay at home and manage kids and home.
If you earn more than your husband, he won’t like it!
I am sure you got the idea about the sad reality I am talking about.
Breaking the stereotypes –
In the above examples, when someone says that the husband gave full freedom to his wife to work, my question is – If it’s an equal relationship, who is he to give freedom or permission?
The problem is that if you ever try to question anything, the answer you will get is that it’s our culture and we just follow the same. So, marriages are basically about our culture and not two people who decide to spend their life together as equals. It’s important to break the stereotypes and let couples decide for themselves. A man should see his wife as equal and respect her decisions instead of thinking of himself as a boss.
Many people would argue that it’s not the husband’s fault as there are fewer women in the workplace, it makes sense that a house runs on a man’s income. But what’s the reason that women either leave their job after marriage or after having kids? I would blame the society that teaches girls that marriage is more important than standing on their own feet.
According to Livemint.com, The gender gap in India has widened to 62.5%, largely due to women’s inadequate representation in politics, technical and leadership roles, decrease in women’s labour force participation rate, poor healthcare, lagging female to male literacy ratio, income inequality.
Be the change you want to see-
As I said in the starting, things are surely changing and it’s not the same as it was a few years back. I personally know few households where women are earning more and husbands manage the house chores and kids efficiently.
It’s good to see this change but there is a long way to go. Hope to see this long-overdue revolution happen and it must start at home. It’s surely not equal if only men are responsible to earn and only women are responsible to look after the house. It’s unfair to both genders if both are not given equal opportunities. Instead of either slogging at work day and night or slogging in the kitchen, both should carry the responsibilities equally. I believe it’s high time, we start looking at gender roles through a new lens. Let’s change the way we think.
Change starts at home, so look around you. Things will continue to be the same until you make it stop. One family and one couple at a time.
I am writing for Gender talks for #CauseAChatter by Blogchatter.