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"Women want to be more than housekeepers"- Kiran Bedi

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New Delhi (UNI) The winds of modernisation and globalisation flowing through India may have made women more aware and independent but men refuse to change, resulting in a rise in family disputes in the last few years, former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kiran Bedi said.

''While the modern woman in India has developed greater awareness and changed her attitudes, men have remained the same, having the same mindsets that characterised men a few decades ago. Consequently, while the women in the families want to go out and give full expression to their creativity, the men in the household want them to stay at home to tend to the housework,''Ms Bedi said at an event in the capital to promote Aap Ki Kachehri Kiran Ke Saath, a show offering open hearings of civil disputes with mediation and arbitration by her.

Talking to UNI here, Ms Bedi said the women today want to be ''more than just housekeepers''. ''They want to be complete homemakers. They want to share equal responsibility with their husbands and their fathers in running the household. Also, they want to go out to work in order to give full expression to their creativity. Unfortunately, the men in the family will no let them do so. They want the women to be just housekeepers. And, this becomes the cause of disputes in various households,''the former IGP said.

Talking about her role in the programme, Ms Bedi said, ""While dealing with the disputes, I am the questioner, counsellor, mediator and arbiter, all rolled into one.'' Talking about her experiences in the show, the former IGP said,' in most of the cases involving disputes between husband and wife, it was seen that the women wanted to give expression to their skills and creativity by charting out their careers and working outside.

However, their husbands, who more often than not, are guided by their mothers, do not want their wives to go out and work. This becomes the cause of dispute between families."" She said the root cause of the problem was that in India, parents were mostly dependent on their children and hence do not want to let go of them.

'"The problem is that we do not have a social security system for the elderly people in India. That"s why people still want to live in the same house with their children in their old age. In such a scenario, a son is the social security for his parents, for old age, financially, psychologically and physically. The day there is a social security system in place, the dependence on children will reduce,"" she said said. Another factor that led to disputes between husband and wives was marriage of girls at an early age.

'"In India, marriages are very hurriedly done. There are also many early marriages. Though some section of society are marrying late but the bulk is still marrying at a very early age. So there is dependence of the boys on their family property. And even parents are preferring that as they feel that gives them social security.

However, in all this the woman"s need for space is ignored. Or, in a joint family you are making the girl ask for everything from her in laws. So her need for space, her own time, her independence and her mobility is not being met. For example, she is at the receiving end of the suspicions of her in-laws like where does she go, who all she meets and so on. Many cases coming in 'Aap Ki Kachehri" are coming due to this suspicious nature which is breaking everything in society- the relationships, family bonds and faith between husband and wife,""Ms Bedi said.

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