Not refusing sex but insulting in-laws could get Indian women beaten by their husbands says national health survey
- As per the survey, the top reason for
domestic abuseis disrespecting in-laws - agreed by 31%.
- The next most popular reason is the belief that the wife is not taking care of the family, household or the children.
- A very seemingly common reason for wife beating - suspecting the wife of being unfaithful however comes in only at third.
- The next two reasons are arguing with the husband and going out without the permission of the husband.
India, only 6 percent of men agree that men have the right to display unaccepted behaviour if a wife refuses him sex, and 72 percent do not agree with any of the behaviours.
Love thy in-laws, cook well and be faithful
What are these ‘duties’ that are leading to domestic abuse? As per the survey, the top reason is disrespecting in-laws - agreed by 31%. The next most popular reason is the belief that the wife is not taking care of the family, household or the children.
A very seemingly common reason for wife beating - suspecting the wife of being unfaithful however comes in only at third. Surprisingly more women voted for faithfulness in marriage than men, driving towards the fact that it is women who are causal reasons for the abuse of other women.
Women are also expected to be more servile, docile and seek permissions constantly as the next two reasons are arguing with the husband and going out without the permission of the husband. Then of course come the cooking skills that all wives are supposed to be adept at - as ‘not cooking properly’ too leads to wife beating.
No means no - and 72% men agree
The possible silver lining however is that the least number of people agree that wives should be beaten for refusing sex - and more women condone it than men.
The survey also asked men if they have a right to exhibit these four behaviours when the wife refuses to have sex: get angry and reprimand her; refuse to give her money or other means of financial support; use force and have sex; and have sex with another woman.
“In India, only 6 percent of men age 15-49 agree that men have the right to display all four of these behaviours if a wife refuses him sex, and 72 percent do not agree with any of the four behaviours,” the report says.
Fewer married women are employed, and some of them are not even paid
Apart from abuse, marriage is keeping Indian women from turning financially independent. Only 32% of married women in India aged between the ages of 15-49 are employed according to a new report by National Family Health Survey (NHFS). For men, the same number is at 98%.
The percentage has gone up marginally from 31% last year. But 15% of these employed women are not paid at all, while 83% of them are paid in cash. However, 85% of the women have a say in making decisions about their earnings.
“It is most common for women to make these decisions jointly with their husband; only 18 percent mainly make these decisions alone. For 14 percent of women, the husband is the sole decision maker regarding the use of women’s earnings,” the report said. And, 75% of the earning women have a bank or savings account which they themselves use.
The ability to have a say in their earnings however increases with age and is better in urban areas, as per the report. Unfortunately, schooling of the earning woman has no effect on their ability to manage their own finances.
“Egalitarian attitudes regarding women’s role in household decision making are more prevalent among men in urban areas than in rural areas, men with more years of schooling than less schooling, and men in higher wealth quintiles than in lower wealth quintiles,” the report.
Older couples are better at jointly managing their finances rather than the age group between 15-19 where marriages seem to be common though illegal, in under-privileged communities.
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