Women feel dowry most severe form of gender disparity: Survey

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) Most Indian women feel that dowry is the most severe form of gender disparity when it comes to marriage, according to a survey conducted by online matrimony platform Shaadi.com for International Women’s Day, which falls on Tuesday.

The online poll, which received 12,655 responses (5745 women and 6910 men) from married and single Indians ranging from 24 to 36 years of age, was conducted to understand the situations where a woman faces disparity.

When women were asked ‘Where do women face disparity’, 21.7 percent of respondents said workplace, 28.2 percent of them said ‘home’ and 50.1 percent of them said ‘marriage’.

Probed further, when the women were particularly asked about the ‘most severe form of gender disparities in marriage’, 84.1 percent of the respondents said ‘dowry demands’; 7.3 percent said ‘change in lifestyle and identity’; followed by 8.6 percent who said ‘wedding expenses’.

In terms of ‘disparities in the workplace’, 38.9 percent of the women asked, said ‘promotion hindrance during pregnancy’, followed by 51.6 percent women who said ‘compensation inequality’, and 9.5 percent of them said ‘lack of recognition/credit for the work they perform’.

Talking of ‘disparities at home’, it emerged that 42.1 percent face issues of ‘unequal sharing of load among spouses/male siblings’, whereas 40.6 percent said ‘decision-making power’, and followed by 17.3 percent said ‘childcare’.

The men surveyed expressed that gender disparities need to be removed from the society.

When they were asked, ‘Do they think women face disparity’, 67.8 percent of them said ‘yes’, followed by 18.3 percent who said ‘Not sure’ and 13.9 percent said ‘No’.

When 2905 married men in the survey were asked about ‘where do they think women face disparity’, 15.8 percent men said ‘Home – if they have male siblings’, 37.5 percent said ‘Workplace – they are expected to have work-life balance’, while 46.7 percent said ‘Marriage – they have to adjust and compromise more than men’.

When 4005 single men were asked the same question, 71.2 percent men said ‘Marriage – dowry is the most prominent case of inequality’, 16.3 percent of them said, ‘Home – they are always expected to be the caretaker’, while, 12.5 percent said ‘Work – they will hit the glass ceiling irrespective of their career progression stage’.

Commenting on the survey, Gourav Rakshit, CEO, Shaadi.com said in a statement: “As leaders in the online matchmaking industry, we, at Shaadi.com believe that equal partnership in marriage leads to happy married life. We are glad to learn that Indian youth believe in the same. This survey reaffirms and strengthens our commitment towards a vision of a gender equal society, especially in regards to dowry.”

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