Monday, October 03, 2011

Thought Provoking : Indian Women Are the Most Stressed Out

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.


Sehar said...

I could not agree more with the research or for that matter, the post here.I got married an year ago and even though I have the most accommodating in-laws and husband, I have may fair share of stress.For an educated ambitious woman, things are definitely tricky.Even if it is not your family, the people around will keep reminding you that its "home" which should be the top priority on your mind.And it's almost a sin thinking more about your career goals than the family back home.Our society has not matured enough to the working woman notion.And nor have Indian women grown up enough to keep this guilt not spawning across their persona.I clearly remember the words of a friend soon after her marriage - (who was keen on not leaving her job after marriage - no matter how rich a family she was married into) - "No matter whether a girl is earning less or more than her husband,no matter if she works more hours than him or less, its she who is expected to cook the meals at the end of the day".And even though there are some positive examples also , where husbands do share the household responsibilities and understanding in-laws, largely its a gloomy picture.No wonder, I haven't met a single married woman who discusses beyond the realms of meals,home,husband and in-laws.I am yet to meet a lady who talks about career or dreams or passions for that matter.

Sonia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sonia said...

Thanks for stopping by. Glad it resonated. That was the point.Recently, a young man who was getting married sent me a note that he really appreciated the insight. Even if helps one, it serves some purpose.