Back to browse results
Empowerment of women from the experience of Indian states: a reflection of NFHS-5
Authors: Saheli Kumar & Soumyabrata Mondal
Source: GeoJournal
Topic(s): Gender
Women’s empowerment
Country: Asia
Published: MAR 2024
Abstract: The present study attempts to analyze the level of women's empowerment across India based on the recently released NFHS-5 (National Family Health Survey) dataset. To delineate interstate disparities in women's empowerment, the Women Empowerment Index has been constructed using six dimensions and eighteen variables. A correlation matrix has also been used to evaluate the relationships between the chosen variables. The study reveals that Goa, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, and Sikkim have comprehensive levels of women's empowerment, while Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, and Bihar have significantly lower levels. The study further discloses that the persistency of low women empowerment is not only concentrated across the so called ‘BIMARU’ (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) states but also in several other states including Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tripura. Surprisingly, Kerala, frequently cited for its high status of women, is not among the top fifteen states whereas, a relatively underdeveloped state like Chhattisgarh claims third place in women empowerment index. The study recommends that along with all other government initiatives, there should be a strong focus on women's empowerment, particularly their ability to make decisions and participate economically in society.