Are Indian Men Finding Relief in Sharing the Financial Burden with Their Working Wives?

Image Credit: She the People

“I’m so thrilled now,” exclaimed my mother as she prepared to head out for work. After being a homemaker for over 25 years, she was now assisting my father in managing the family business. This transition from kitchen duties to financial responsibilities completely transformed her life. And it was all thanks to my father, who entrusted her with these new roles. Together, my parents had become a formidable team in running the business. Does having a financially supportive wife make men happier and less burdened? My father’s resounding yes certainly suggests so.

This shift in my family dynamics prompted me to ponder on what other men think about having a working wife. Do they feel relieved when women contribute financially? Are they open to marrying women with careers and full-time jobs? And how do they feel if their wives earn more than them? To find out, I reached out to some single men in my social circle, and their responses were eye-opening.

Sameer Singh, a statistical analyst from Bengaluru, emphasized the importance of economic stability in today’s world and expressed his comfort with having a working wife. He acknowledged a shift in societal attitudes towards working women and highlighted the necessity of dual incomes in the face of inflation. Similarly, Shivam Prakash, a government employee, echoed the sentiment, stressing the indispensability of a working partner in navigating financial challenges.

Jenish Trivedi, a research scholar, pointed out that while men from middle-class backgrounds may seek financial support from their wives, those from affluent families may not prioritize their partner’s employment status. However, amidst discussions about the economy, a nagging question emerged: is the desire for a working wife as unpredictable as economic fluctuations? Will men revert to traditional gender roles if the economy improves?

While pondering this, I stumbled upon a crucial insight: the lack of female labor force participation hampers economic growth. Studies indicate that increased female participation could significantly boost GDP. Hence, rather than viewing working wives as a necessity only during economic downturns, men should encourage women to work to enhance overall economic prosperity.

Yet, there are lingering issues, notably male ego. Pankaj Kumar, an aspiring entrepreneur, expressed reluctance to marry a working woman due to potential clashes in ego and differing professional pressures. Nitish Gupta, a PhD student, highlighted how male ego and societal expectations hinder acceptance of independent women.

This resistance to change reflects deeply ingrained patriarchal norms. Tauseef, an Associate Auditor, acknowledged the struggle to break free from societal conditioning, noting how his father felt ashamed when his mother supported the family financially. Despite these challenges, Tauseef remains committed to dismantling patriarchal structures.

In conclusion, while there’s progress in men’s acceptance of working wives, challenges persist. Education on the benefits of female labor force participation and a shift in societal attitudes are crucial. Women should continue pursuing their careers, and men must strive to dismantle patriarchal norms for a more equitable future.

Repurposed article originally published in She the People

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