Married women happier than those in live-in relationship: RSS associate’s survey

Vibha Sharma
Indiatimesworld News Service
New Delhi, September 23

Married women have a “very high level of happiness” while lowest percentage (of happiness) is found in the women in “live-in relationships”, says a report by a RSS associate.

“Women with very high and high levels of happiness were those who are married while the lowest percentage of happiness was found in women who are in live-in relationships,” says the ‘Status of Women’ report, which will released by RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat tomorrow.

The survey also speaks of improving situation of women in India ever since last Census and improving sex ratio in Haryana, which will positively affect the social situation in the State in the years to come . Incidentally, the nation-wide survey carried out by Pune-based Drishti Stree Adhyayan Prabodhan Kendra (DSAPK), which is engaged in women’s studies, also says women into spirituality are among the happiest in the country.

The survey based on interviews with 43,255 women above 18 years of age across five regions, 29 States, five union territories and 465 districts covering all major religions. It also attempts to analyse “happiness levels in women”.

The report quoting the 2011 Census says then the female literacy rate was 64.63 per cent. The study that followed almost six years later found that the percentage had increased to 79.63. “Though there is an increase in the literacy rate, few of them managed to achieve the level of education above graduation. Illiteracy rate is observed more among ST women followed SC and Special Backward Class. The reservation policy and educational support have helped them attain higher level of education,” it says.

The study attributes marriage and financial difficulties as major reasons for discontinuing education among women.

Significantly, it also says that the percentage of illiteracy was found to be less among women from the spiritual field. It also adds that 80 per cent of the women surveyed had “a very high level of happiness and well being”. 

Women from spiritual field have highest level of happiness among all respondents, it added.

“The highest percentage, very high level of happiness, was found in married women whereas lowest percentage is found in women who are living in live in relationship,” it says. It is because “marriage brings stability and contributes to the increase in the level of happiness and well-being of an individual”.

The survey also found no correlation between income and happiness among women and said it “is almost the same in the women in all categories of employment”. 

About 90 per cent of respondents who are not having family and no income, possess very high and high level of happiness and well being and lowest percentage is seen in women having family income below Rs 10,000. This indicates that family income has no such influence on the level of happiness and well being, says the survey which also made several recommendations to better the status of women in India.

Interestingly the level of happiness and well-being was almost same in all educational categories. “The highest percentage of it is seen in women having post-graduation and PhD level of education while the lowest percentage was observed in illiterate women,” it said. The survey also says that the highest level of happiness and well-being was observed in women of the 50-60 age group, which dipped for women above 60 years.  

It could be because between the age group of 51 to 60 years, women generally become free of family responsibilities that influence their mental state positively.

The decreasing level of happiness in the age group of above 60 indicates that factors influencing mental state—feeling of life insecurity, health-related issues, loneliness etc.

Tomorrow’s event will be followed by a state-wide release to initiate a national debate on a wide range of issues. Sources say findings of the survey were discussed at Pushkar. According to the authors, it is  was one of the biggest surveys on women ever conducted in the country. 

A separate study on similar lines was conducted on girls below 18 years of age group. Survey will be definitely beneficial to central and state governments as well as various voluntary organisations, says Anjali Deshpande from Drishti.