We interviewed 16 persons, 8 men and 8 women. Among them, 14 were married and 2 were unmarried. Regarding the ethnicity, 6 were Thakurs, 4 were Brahmins, 2 were Chhetris, 2 were Limbus and 2 were Tharu.
Some of our major findings during the course of interview are listed below;
Participation in household Activities
90% of the women do majority of the household chores, though everyone claimed of the support by their husbands. Only one women claimed of ideal equality, i.e. 50-50 partnership. In all households, men participate in the household activities in case of illness or absence of wives, though both of them are working members.
As 60% of men live alone with no wives, they are compelled to participate in the household activities. However, they admitted that they do not participate in the presence of their wives. Moreover, the wives of every saloon men were housewives.
Perception regarding the job
80% of the women have no future plans. They are not ambitious about their business and they have no vision on what they see themselves after some years. They are in this business for time-past basically. Only two women had future plans and only one was serious about it. 90% of the women were housewives before and was positively viewed by their families. Moreover, 90% of the women view it as a women’s profession than men.
Most saloon men are involved in this business as a continuation of parental occupation. They start it as soon as they reach up to the age of 12. They admitted that this is an occupation which demands low investment but in return provides high profit. They are ambitious and has family support as well. 90% of the men view it as a men’s profession and women should not be involved in it.
General opening and closing time of women is 10a.m. to 7p.m. and they used to open the parlor late on Saturdays. Its because of their roles in household activities.while asked about the participation in social functions, they claimed to have equal participation.
General opening time of men is 7a.m. to 8 p.m. which shows their less involvement in household chores.
90% of the women said that they want their husband’s income to be more and one women only said that she wants her income to be more. They gave the logic that its husband’s job to protect them and so we also need to give them respect. Women were involved in parlor only after their children had come up to school age. Moreover, in case of any functions at homes, the parlors were closed.
All men want their wives to work at home and not to work outside
Access to resources, control and decision making:
Women had their equal sharing in decision making. Moreover, they had their own bank accounts and had savings over there. 50% had their homes under their names.
Their housewives had poor rates of savings and investments.
We could find that higher middle class family is involved in the parlor business whereas the lower middle class family is involved in the saloon business. Moreover, the parlor seems to be more prestigious business than saloon. Modernization has touched the life-style of parlor women but the housewives of the saloon male are still backward. Parlor women are from hilly regions and saloon men from Terai. So, we may claim that the status of women in hilly region is better than that of Terai.
The economic independence is a major tool to promote the gender equality.