A Recent Study Reveals That Women Who Choose Their Husbands Have More Say In Household Decisions.
Traditionally, thanks to our patriarchal norms, women have less than no say in any matters of the house. Either her husband or in-laws make all the decisions while she handles the kitchen and the children. However, as times change and gender roles evolve, women have more authority in the house. In fact, a recent study found that women who marry for love and choose their own husbands have more of a say in household decisions than the women who have arranged marriages. This at least shows some signs of progress.
The study, conducted by Manjistha Banerji of National Council of Applied Economic Research and Ashwini S. Deshpande of Duke Global Health Institute, is structured on the surveys of 21,000 married women and their husbands and in-laws in 2004-05 and 2011-12. Women of various ages and from all walks of life were interviewed but those aged between 20-49 in 2004-05 were especially targetted for this study.
In this survey, families were asked who had the most say in household decisions. For instance, what to do when a child falls sick? The results showed that families where the women had some but not complete control over the choice of their partner, husbands had complete authority. In families where the women had absolutely no choice over choosing her partner, the in-laws, especially the mother-in-law, had complete authority. However, in families where the women had complete control over the choice of her partner, she reserved most of the household decision making authority.
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The study also found that, across the board, when senior members of the family lose authority it’s transferred to the husband, not the wife. Yay, patriarchy!
Of course, the results varied in different age groups. For instance, let’s take women in their middle ages. Even if they had control over choosing their partner, they do not have much say in household decisions. This means that whether it was a love marriage or an arranged marriage, because of societal pressure and customs, women of older generations had negligible authority in the house. Glad that is slowly but steadily changing now.
It’s high time that traditional gender roles are dissolved. Women need a voice and a seat at the table, especially in a familial unit. Hopefully, in near future generations, all women, regardless of whether they chose their partner or not, have a say in household decisions. It’s time we evolve and leave patriarchy behind.