Although there is no doubt that the institution of marriage has grown leaps and bounds in the last few decades or so, the benefits have been limited to the ultra-urban areas where even the concept of live-in relationships has found a place. The modernization of marriage or the equality factor has yet to be a trickle down to the lower or rural parts of the society.
The urban and rural areas have different problems regarding equality in marriage. In urban settings, the girls still face the pressure of getting married within a certain age frame and bearing children because of a false notion that they cannot bear child after the age of 30 years. Even in the professional setup, they don’t get that many maternity and marriage-related benefits that they deserve, hence they have to make compromises with their lives.
In rural areas, the situation has not changed much and it can be compared to the past. The women are heavily dependant on their husbands for quite literally everything and they have no saying power. Equality does not really exist in the rural setup. If a woman is facing a very toxic marriage, then she has no other choice than to tolerate it for the rest of their lives.
The concept of divorce is also not that mainstream because the kind of problems that omen face after getting a divorce are unsurmountable.
So to make them have an equal stake in the marriage, we must make them more educated and independent. We have to get rid of the ancient notions like a wife is an ardhangini of her husband.