Working women in India face hurdles in seeking marriage

Women in India who seek careers, particularly those in male-dominated professions, face more discrimination when looking for a marriage partner.
By: | March 22, 2023

Women in India who pursue professional careers are jeopardising their chances of marriage, with men preferring their prospective life partners to be unemployed.

According to the Women’s Work, Social Norms and the Marriage Market study conducted by the Indian Statistical Institute, Harvard University, University of Oxford, and Ashoka University, employed women were 14.5% less likely to attract suitors than non-working women.

Additionally, those working in traditionally male occupations face greater discrimination when it comes to finding a prospective partner. Relative to women in job roles that Indian society has deemed to be more feminine, women working in traditionally male occupations are even less likely to be able to find a suitable marriage partner.

While the study is limited to an online marriage platform whose users have higher levels of education and living standards than the rest of the country’s urban population, the researchers believe that the prejudices surrounding working women may impact the most disadvantaged Indian women more heavily.

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According to the World Bank, women accounted for only 23% of India’s workforce in 2021, a situation which may not have improved since. The study’s authors suggested that the scale of the negative impact of a woman’s education or career on her prospects of finding a suitable marriage partner may be greater across the generation population than their findings, a fact that is hindering women from entering the job market, reported FMT.