Going by the common belief, independent women who share the financial responsibilities are less vulnerable to domestic violence. But according a recent study, reality is exactly just the opposite. It has revealed that women who are educated or financially independent actually face more domestic violence than an uneducated and financially dependent housewife. Shocked? Cannot believe this? Let’s get into the story.
A USA based non-profit organization, Population Council, in their journal, Population and Development Review, published an article about this education of Indian women Vs vulnerability. The report says that educated and independent women are 28% more vulnerable to such domestic violence and abuses than their dependent counterpart. The worst is yet to come. The report also says that if a woman is the only earning member of the family, she is likely to be 48% more prone to such violence than other women. Beat that!
Why so? The more power of women means the position of their male counterpart will be more threatened. And as the power and dominating position of the male head of the family is at stake, the male react by abusing the wife in an order to assert or regain his almost lost status. What is worst that society supports this “assertion of masculinity” by blaming it on the women! Because a major part of this male-dominated society considers it a sin for a women to be more educated and financially strong than her husband. Indeed, such thoughts clearly indicate a deep-rooted problem in collection social psyche that perceives women as nothing more than doormats who shall never have more power over her husband. And once a woman defies this unspoken rule, she crosses the enemy line and exposes herself to firing.
In other countries, the ball is in the courts of educated and economically independent women who, if ever face any violence, waste no time in freeing herself from that relationship or marriage. Unfortunately, in India, till now, divorce is not socially acceptable and a divorcee independent woman becomes a lethal threat to the society and its male part. The traditional norms of social control greatly fails for such women and a part of the society comes to devising different ways to harass the women to make her feel guilty about her independence and non-submissiveness.
Does that hinder the progress of gender equality in a country with such social and cultural stasis? The answer is ‘No.’ When it is absolutely true that the scenario is definitely not good for the one third part of total labour in the country i.e. working women, it does not make the rest of the women or the younger generation abandon their studies and dreams. Education, in its truest form, can only eradicate such serious social issues. Education of gender equality should be given to both the boys and girls, in order to change their mindset from a tender age. While the girls need to be insisted on pursuing their studies and career goals, the boys need to be injected with a sense of self-confidence that will eventually flush out the insecurities from their system.