Kerala women have decisive say in conjugal ties: NFHS survey

Nine out of every 10 women In Kerala are able to refuse sex to their husbands, says the National Family Health Survey -5.

Published: 22nd May 2022 06:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2022 06:54 AM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Nine out of every 10 women In Kerala are able to refuse sex to their husbands, says the National Family Health Survey -5. While the national average is 82.4%, Kerala is positioned sixth in terms of women who say no to their husband if they do not want to have sexual intercourse.

The survey also reveals the gender attitudes of Keralite men. And 22.6% of respondents in the 15-49 age group believes that a husband has the right to get angry and reprimand her in such a situation. This is higher than the national average of 19.2%. The responses to other behaviours in such a situation and the national average are as follows: refusal to give her financial support - 11.4 (13), use force to have sex- 8.8 (12.2), have sex with another woman-  13 (12.6).

Only 3.95% of men agree that they have the right to display all four of these behaviours if their wife were to refuse them sex, and 69.2% do not agree with any of the four behaviours. Significantly 81.7% of Keralite women believed that a wife is justified in refusing sex if she is tired or not in the mood.

“Such a question was included in the survey recently. Earlier, such questions could not be put easily. This in itself is a commendable development. The findings reveal that women are becoming more assertive. It shows that the number of women who consider sex as an unquestionable right of their spouse is coming down,” says Centre for Development Studies professor J Devika.

“This happens when they believe in their husband’s rights over them. The struggle against patriarchy is a slow process. Women cannot eradicate patriarchy at once. It is a positive sign that the number of women who demand a space for themselves or voice their opinions, though in certain matters, is increasing,” she added.


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