When I was in India last year, I met and got chatting to a lot of women at the annual NASSCOM IT Women’s Leadership summit in Bangalore.
One of my abiding memories from those conversations was the number of times that the phrase “My mother-in-law says …” came up – and never in a good way, but always in a “blocking me from doing something new and different” kind of context.
I blogged about this at the time and wrote that it seemed to me that marriage in India seemed to be not so much about the man that you marry but about his mother, based on the women who said things like:
“Oh, my husband is lovely and very proud of me for [getting promoted at work/achieving my second degree whilst working full time/winning an award/etc] but his mother is very difficult and thinks I should be at home all the time just like she was …”
So spotting this news story tucked away in a tiny corner of a UK newspaper made me wince:
It’s a clever headline, but the story behind it, as reported here in the Times of India, is quite thought provoking, confirming as it does the low status which women in India endure even today and which has now been ratified by the Indian Supreme Court.