Bizarre! Only 5 percent Indian women have the liberty to choose their partners

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This shocking study is a clear reflection of the absence of autonomy and equality Indian women face in our country

It's not unknown that Indian women have been fighting for equal rights since time immemorial. Whether it is as a daughter, as a young girl, as a wife or even as a mother. In every role that we play, we have to fight our way through.

But the sad fact is that we don't receive as much support especially from our parents, when it comes to choosing our life partners. Yes, that's correct.

What the shocking study says

Reportedly, 95 percent Indian women do not have any control over choosing their life partners. This study was conducted for the Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS), by the University of Maryland and the National Council of Applied Economic Research in the years 2004-2005 and 2011-2012.

Apart from that one shocking number, it listed some seriously bizarre revelations about how little Indian women have the right in their own country.

  • Only 4.99 percent women could freely choose their life partners
  • For 73 percent women, their parents and family members chose their husbands or life partners
  • The percentage of say in choosing a husband was lowest in Rajasthan (0.98 percent)
  • This was followed by Punjab (1.14 percent) and Bihar (1.19 percent).
  • The percent of choosing a husband was the highest in Manipur (96 per cent), and then Mizoram (88 percent) and Meghalaya (76.9 percent).
  • About 79.8 percent women need permission to visit a healthcare facility
  • 58 percent women needed permission to visit a kirana (grocery) store

Bizarre! Only 5 percent Indian women have the liberty to choose their partners

It also revealed the people around women who make these decisions for them.

  • Around 80 percent women reportedly need permission from their family to visit a health facility centre
  • Out of these 80 percent, 80 percent require permission from husband; 79.89 percent from a senior male family member and 79.94 percent from a senior female family member

This shocking study is a clear reflection of the absence of autonomy and equality women face in our country. And, that's perhaps why it's even more important to teach our sons to respect that autonomy.

That brings us to the vital question- what is it that we should teach our sons to make gender equality a true reality?

3 things your sons must learn

  • Respect every living being: Why we forgot to teach our boys to respect every living being, is beyond understanding. Children replicate their parents' behaviour towards others and their respective spouses. So it's imperative that parents set the right precedence.
  • To be fair: When it comes to marriage, it can be easy to get carried away and not see everything fairly, especially when it comes to ones family. But let's not forget, the daughter-in-law who leaves her home and family behind deserves a fair chance to be heard. After all she is sacrificing so much for her in-laws. Lets learn to respect that.
  • Empower yourself with progressive thoughts: We must also teach our kids to not discriminate against anybody based on caste, creed, sex or religion and not in the constitutional sense. Lead by example and explain why we must respect everybody's life choices.

Read: 5 reasons why dads should stop teaching their sons to 'man up'

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[All images courtesy: Pixabay]

Written by

Deepshikha Punj

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