A study by Centre For Advocacy and Research (CFAR) found that between 1995-2004 the number of homemakers had remained about the same - 139 amongst 511 women surveyed in 1995 and 126 homemakers out of 400 women in 2004. But advertising has completely rediscovered 'desperate housewives'.
The study points out that in 1995, 35% of the advertising focus was on shampoos and soaps while 14% was on hair oils and creams. By 2004, advertising on cold drinks, food and tea cornered 30% of the market while soaps and shampoos (traditionally seen as personal products for women) shrank to 14%.
''The homemaker has been re-invented. She is no longer the professional woman exploring external domains. She is like Kokila Ambani deriving power from her position in the family and is rooted in tradition,'' says Akhila Sivadas, CFAR executive director.
The trend, Sivadas says, started from Ek Mahal Hai Sapno Ka on Sony TV and peaked with the now much-quoted Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Television moved from Tara to the soaps with their ever-suffering-yet-smiling women.