A survey conducted by a Swedish research and consulting firm revealed that young middle class Indian youth are the happiest when their career is their top priority.
The survey highlighted that most youth put their family on the back burner as they go all out to get that elusive ‘perfect job’. Not surprisingly, it also reflected a gender divide.
John Smith, 28, and his wife Andrea, 27, were married for three years before a job from foreign shores came calling. John took it up, leaving behind Andrea and their newborn. With no family support, she was left to fend for herself and her child. John, though, has no regrets. “It was a good move for my career and the money was good as well.”
He isn’t alone. Most feel that gender plays an important role when deciding what is important — career or family. The widely believed notion is.. if you are a man and aren’t earning or rising in your chosen vocation, society will ignore you.
On the contrary, pre-conceived notions still exist on how women 'should' behave. This despite the fact that India has more working women than any other country in the world. This includes female workers at all levels of skill— surgeons, airline pilots to bus conductors and menial labourers.
Sumit Shah, 24, a journalism student, says, “ If I don’t earn, forget family, even my friends will start to think of me as a burden. A person’s worth is judged by the amount of money he makes. Family comes much later.”
Sociologist Kiran Wadhwa feels that the Indian youth is still confused when it comes the gender power struggle. “Most of today’s generation has grown up in homes where they are taught that the man is the sole provider. Later, when they hear of equality between the genders.. they get confused over their roles. Most deal with it eventually.. but a lot can be done to improve this scenario.”
She is hopeful though that with education and awareness the situation will improve for the next generation.