Women Are Holding Themselves Back, Still (Infographic)

6 in 10 Indian women hold back because they are either afraid of being judged or of others' reaction

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The Indian economy has been a closed one since years. Women, in particular, have been portrayed as damsels who are hesitant in voicing their opinions and needs. There are multiple faces and names to these self-limiting hesitations, from inner voices to negative self-dialogue that women face as barriers.


These beliefs are not born overnight but are a by-product of years of social conditioning, societal confining norms and of being told what they should or shouldn't do. As a result, women tend to hold back from acting on their thoughts.

In fact, Ponds' new research study states that 9 in 10 Indian women hold themselves back from doing or saying something they want because they are either afraid of being judged (59 per cent) or not sure how others will react (58 per cent). 5 in 10 also worry that what they say will negatively impact how others see them.

Don't Hold Back

When has holding a thought back resulted in anything positive? According to the report, 6 in 10 Indian women lose confidence for holding themselves back for too long whereas 5 in 10 feel frustrated. For a better living, women need to let go of these inhibitions.

Iterating the power of inner voices, Prabha Narasimhan, Vice President, Skincare and Colours, Hindustan Unilever Ltd said, "Inner voices are stopping more women than we know today, with each of them believing they are the only ones facing this issue."

Women need to acknowledge the existence of these inner voices, recognize that women everywhere experience them at some stage of their lives and encourage them to try to overcome these to realize their true potential.

Start Saying NO

In the corporate scenario, setting unrealistic targets of professionals is not anything new. Women being women get afraid too soon and hardly question back. Taking the dialogue on holding back, almost half (47 per cent) of women hesitate when asking a question in a large group.

4 out of 10 women are unable to say a simple no to their boss, giving birth to a sense of not being accomplished. However, not everything can gloomy here. 97 per cent of women agrees to overall these inner voices over time, leading to confidence and joy.

Women are now exposed to so much more. They are ready now more than ever to overcome years of conditioning and finally take that step to do what they always wanted to do or saying what they have always wanted to say. The world is finally opening up and it's their moment to shine.

Take a look at the following infographic by Pond's to find out how free women truly feel today: