Women's issues are a subject close to my heart, and recently I came across a study that was though provoking enough for me to take a break from the blogging hiatus.
A research survey done by Nielson of 6500 women across the world found that Indian women – especially the educated professional ones – are the most stressed out in the world. Indian women balance career ambitions while shouldering a large part of responsibilities of the household in a traditional unequal society. First generation career women are the most stressed out as they try to live to the Indian expectation of an "ideal daughter", "an ideal wife" or an "ideal mother", and overcompensate at work to be taken as seriously as their male counterparts. While an educated Indian female is expected contribute to the earning the family bread, Indian males (or at least a majority of them) are yet to evolve to take up a their fair share of household duties. In fact, if I may, being educated is thus a double whammy. If you are ambitious on top of that, good luck. You just need to be a superwoman.
The purpose of this article is to commend women who have decided to take the more difficult path of trying to balance it all. What these Indian women are doing is no mean feat. But I have even greater respect for those of my friends who have the courage to not settle for inequality and question it. The road is unchartered and tough but they are the path bearers to social change.
The other intended audience of this article is the educated Indian male. This is an invitation to think. Can you claim that you take your fair share of responsibility at home?
The HBR article can be read here.
The other angle to this debate, that of tapping into the huge educated workforce deserves a separate post of its own.