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Daughters aren’t precious

As per a study, when it comes to the attitude towards their daughters, most parents in Delhi are far from progressive, reports Anuradha Mukherjee.

delhi Updated: Jul 27, 2007 02:57 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

When it comes to the attitude towards their daughters, most parents in Delhi are far from progressive, a recent Delhi University survey shows.

Most of the 1,200 respondents spread across the city do not mind arranging hefty dowries for their daughters, provided the grooms belong to the right caste and are well employed.

Others prefer to withdraw their daughters from school or deny them medical help, favouring sons if the family finances are tight. Most parents are not willing to allow their daughters to marry the man of her choice.

These are some of the findings of a survey carried out by the Women’s Studies and Development Centre of Delhi University.

The survey shows 56 per cent mothers and 53 per cent fathers are willing to arrange dowry for the right groom.

While 53 per cent of urban girls feel they have no say in decisions about their marriage, 70 per cent believe their parents would come round if they choose a groom for themselves. However, as many as 60 per cent of mothers and 62 per cent of fathers said they would not allow their daughters to decide whom to marry.

Nilima Srivastava, a reader of Women Studies in DU, said: “The girls think their parents are more liberal than they really are. Parents are markedly patriarchal.”

The hard truth is that girls feel they get less love and attention from their families (47 per cent) and have to shoulder more household responsibilities (65 per cent). They also claim to have restricted exposure to the outside world (61 per cent).

Women are no better than men are in reinforcing patriarchal values. An overwhelming number of mothers (90 per cent) and daughters (93 per cent) felt that girls should be well versed in household chores. Boys, however, should be adept at handling "tough situations" feel 81 per cent of girls, and only 2 per cent think they should also know how to sew a button.