A recent report on attitudes about diaper-changing, disparity and dominance in six different countries provides some sobering information for Indian women this Women’s Day. Here’s one example. When men were asked whether “changing diapers, giving kids a bath and feeding kids are the mother’s responsibility,” 86% of Indian men said these tasks were the domain of women compared to only 10% of men in Brazil.
Only about 2,000 of the country’s billion-plus Indians participated—approximately 1,500 men and 500 women in capital Delhi and in Vijayawada (in the state of Andhra Pradesh) —hardly representative of the whole of India. Nevertheless, the findings, released in January, throw an important spotlight on the issues of gender inequality and present a gloomy picture of Indian men’s attitudes towards gender and sexual relations.
The study ranked Indian men lowest when it comes to gender equity, along with Rwanda. The report stated that “men showed tremendous variation in their gender related attitudes, with India and Rwanda showing the most inequitable attitudes.” It went on to say that men in all countries, except India are “generally supportive of gender equality,” with 81% Indian men agreeing with the statement that “a man should have the final word in decisions in his home,” compared to just 20% in Croatia. India also ranked lowest in male participation in household duties, with just 16% of men reporting that they play an equal or greater role to women. On questions of sexual equality and rights, Indian men don’t fare any better—47%, the highest among all other nations, said that they would be “outraged” if their wives asked them to use a condom and 92% would be “ashamed” if they had a homosexual son.