Sunday, March 08, 2009

A Day for Women

'tis March 8th, the International Women's Day.

Happy W-day, all you with two X-chromosomes and therefore a reduced risk of color-blindness ;-).

The times of India did a survey on this occasion and found some interesting facts about the women of India of today. The full article is here.

A glimpse of the article is below:
The poll was conducted exclusively for TOI by leading market research agency Synovate India in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Jaipur in the week leading up to March 8. A total of 1,004 respondents were split roughly equally between the eight cities. About half were aged 20-30 and the rest 31-40. Similarly, the SEC A-B split was roughly even.

The surveys most revealing finding was that only 46% admitted to deciding how their money was spent or invested. Significantly, this proportion was only a little higher - 52% - among working women. Even among single women, only 49% decide what they do with their money. So, who decides for the rest? The parents mainly, for single working women. Husbands mainly, for married women in general and housewives in particular.

The response to a question on who should decide how a woman entertains herself in the evenings also illustrated just how entrenched the patriarchy remains. Only 42% said the woman herself was quite capable of deciding on the issue. While only 3% felt the so-called moral police had any right to stick its nose in the matter, a majority said parents or husbands should decide on the lakshman rekha. Across categories of age, married/single, working/non-working and SEC groups, this proportion was much the same, varying in a narrow band of just 51% to 55%.

I am not quite sure why the women themselves would say that someone else should decide their choice of evening activity. Sure raises doubts about the survey in my opinion.

Comments from women folk reading this blog on the survey?!

P.S. This amazing song clip from Delhi 6 is my ode to you all today - esp. to Neha who blogged about it, and to Waheeda ji and Supriya Pathak, the two more _substantial_ women in Indian cinema :).

[youtube will have more video links, including one to the complete audio of the above song]

P.S. How did _I_ spend women's day? By introducing one to the Indian area in Paris :). Hope you liked it, S!
P.P.S. Women reading this post, please chime in about the survey results I talked about. I am genuinely perplexed with the results.


  1. When I read this, I certainly felt dubious about the unbiasedness of the this survey. While I can grudgingly swallow the part about monetary decisions, it seems quite unbelievable that 40% women claim sexual harassment is commonplace at work (note: the survey claims it covers different income groups) or that only a meager 40ish% get to choose their evening entertainment. Seriously?? But then again, the survey projects my dear hometown to be the most liberal and one of the safer havens. That makes me wonder if it's the case that the rest of India is very very different or if TOI is just dramatizing the situation and making it look bleaker than it is!

  2. I definitely enjoyed "celebrating" Women's Day today! Thanks again for showing us around. Looking forward to next time!

  3. Somehow, I don't find the survey all that hard to believe. Women get paid less than men(about 3/8th the salary of men), and often that could lead to the further entrenchment of any existing notions about who should decide what to do with the money.

    I think JD hit the nail on the head - safety could be a chief reason why such a large population of women don't choose their evening entertainment by themselves. It might also be the reason why they don't FEEL as if any decision is really theirs (again a psychological impediment, I think, rather than an actual one).

    Oh, what do I know? I had a great women's day - hung out in SJ downtown with 2 very handsome men (one of them being my husband), and had a fantastic dinner, courtesy of the second one :)

    P.S. Genda Phool does rock, but the movie SUCKS. It's supposed to be dark comedy or whatever, but that's all the more reason you need a more skilled director than ROM. The man thinks he's Picasso, but is really a six-year-old learning how to draw.