Women Empowerment is on the rise in State of Maharashtra in India. Based on National Family Health Survey -4 , 89.3% of women in Urban and surprisingly 89.4% of women in Rural areas of Maharashtra participate in their household decisions. There are also reports of lesser violence to Women.
The positive news came from the survey taken during 1 April 2015 – 25 September 2015. The survey gathered information from 26,890 households and 29,460 women.
However, the major focus should lie on imparting vocational and technical skills that help earn money to women as the figures of Women who worked and paid in cash between 2014-2015 were disappointing.
Compared to 2005-06, where 35.1% of women were compensated in cash, only 28.9% of total women were paid in cash over the period of one year before starting of the survey. And if you think, rural women contributed to this low figures, then you are wrong. Only 22.2% women in Urban region were compensated in cash compared to 35.5% women in rural areas between 2014-15.
Violence and Women Empowerment
The reported violence in married women who have experienced spousal violence at least once has seen 9% downfall over the last decade (2005-2015). Various parameters which include awareness, educating women with police and law procedures and media trial of women-centric cases has empowered women over this decade to stand up for their rights. Though further progress is still needed which can be achieved now by educating men and implementing compassion and sense of responsibility towards their spouse.It can further help reduce the numbers.
Though women who were pregnant undergo less violence (only 2.9%).Is Compassion helping to reduce the violence? Something I highlighted above. Though in this case, the compassion could be towards the child inside the womb but this psychological parameter is important in reducing violence in women.
Ownership and Women Empowerment
Policies like JanDhan Yojana, Direct Benefit Transfer scheme has provided an opportunity to many women, especially in rural areas,45.3% of women own a bank/savings account which they themselves use. Rural Women need to catch up with Urban women. 52% women in Urban regions own a bank/savings account compared to 38.7 in rural regions. Financial inclusion in rural women is need of the hour
34.3% of Women own a house or a land ( alone/jointly). There is quite an equity between rural and urban women in owning a property.
45.6% of women use Mobile phones themselves, with 60.4% urban women contributing to this number overall. Only 30.9% rural women own mobile phones. This is an important indicator for telecom companies to expand their reach in rural India.
Women Empowerment in Maharashtra is truly motivating. Government Policies and awareness programs need to reach more to rural women. Urban women are more empowered compared to rural women. Could Education be the parameter which can bridge the gap or the society which is leading factor here? We need a healthy debate on this to help bridge the inequality gap.