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Essay: Factors affecting women in India

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Women in India lack support and power for accessing their fundamental rights. Women in India have nutrition deficiency and are less healthy as compared to men, further they are sexually and physically abused. Their literacy level amongst women is less as compared to men and are lagging behind in acquiring any professional or technical education. Further, practicing political life is difficult for a woman. Women faces discrimination before law, faces problem in accessing property rights and rights of alliance and religious freedom. Women live in constant fear and opportunities are limited for her. Moreover, she is loaded with responsibilities of household and childcare.


Women consist half of human resource and therefore their contribution towards economic growth is important. Mainstreaming women is a biggest challenge, if we look over the data we find that literacy rate of female in India has risen from 8.86% to 54.16% from 1951 to 2001 (census). Women participation in work force rose from 10.7% to 25.7% from 1981 to 2001(census).

Further, sex ratio declined from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001. This is the result of society unwillingness to possess a girl child in a family. Still in India 50% of women, get married before 18 years 57.9% of them get pregnant and 56.2% of married women suffer from Anemia. Because of this we find that Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is high in India where 254 maternal deaths take place per 100, 000 live births (NFHS, 2006). 59.8% of total population is between the age group of 15- 59 this implies that India constitute of large number of human capital.

We find that the focus has now shifted to inclusive growth and inclusiveness of marginalized and weaker section. Moreover, stress is laid upon gender perspective and budgeting to bring equilibrium in the society. As we find that participation of women has always remained low in all sectors whether it is literacy and education, work and employment or decision making.


Population of Jharkhand: 3985644
Female population: 1942186
Male population: 2043458
Female living in rural area is 1540350 and female living in urban areas is 401836.
Census: 2011

The major difficulty in the region is of sexual harassment of adolescent girls at workplace. It is often seen that females migrating to other cities are tortured and are exploited. Therefore, the major stress is been paid over rescuing and rehabilitating girls who go out to metropolitan cities and are sexually and physically abused. As from the above data, it is very much relevant that much of the female population live in rural areas devoid of basic amenities, deprived and excluded.

To prevent this and to provide a safety net is a major concern of the administration. For this the problem is monitored rehabilitation schemes are prepared. This is an another way to protect the vulnerable and primitive tribal group as they are the sufferers. Therefore to upgrade the status of 2011 was declared as ‘Bitia Varsh’. Amount of s. 1.15 lakh is been given to the girl belonging to a BPL family when she turn adult.

Data: adjoining facts

SC and ST population

Male Female
SC 1640583 1548737
ST 3565960 3521108

Registrar General and Census Commission (2004)

Belonging to SC category it is difficult for women to access institutions of education, skill development and thus they remain marginalized amongst marginalized section. We witness extreme backwardness in the community where they remain excluded though living the same social boundary.

‘ We find that the state comes under 5th schedule and PESA is applied in many of it districts. Tribals always remained geographical excluded; the major source of their livelihood is jungle and natural resources. Therefore grants like Backward Region Grant Fund and SC ST Sub Plans are there for the development of these areas and above this gender perspective is also taken into account.

Demand for girl or boy child:

women Men

Demand for boy child 23.4% 23.9%

Demand for girl child 3.1% 2.2%

NFHS 2005-06

We see that there is a less demand of girl child and less number of people is willing to possess girl child. Girl in the society is been considered as a burden, because she does not contribute towards the economy of household.

Birth rate and death rate: 26.8 and 7.9 respectively

Birth rate in Jharkhand is amongst the highest in India. This could be the result of ignorance, patriarchy or stereotypical norms existing in the society

Health and Nutrition


Women in India 869,369

Women in Jharkhand 23,600

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (2008)

HIV/AIDS is prevalent amongst pregnant women where we find 66 of 69,200 pregnant women were HIV positive. 91% of HIV patients are between 15 to 49 years. This social stigma is only attached to a women and she is made responsible for it.

Anemia among women

Pregnant women 68.4%

Married women 70.4%

NFHS 2006

We notice that Jharkhand is highest among states where women suffer from anemia. Anemia is condition where there is deficiency of RBC or hemoglobin. Thus this aspect of women make them prone to various chronic diseases and put them in danger. In addition to this we find that only 61.2% of total women in the state take decisions concerning their health.

Age-Specific Fertility Rate

20-24 year 222.6
25-29 year 186.0
30-34 year 114.5

Census Commissioner (2008)

We witness high level of fertility rate in 20 to 34 year of age group. It is much above national data on ASFR. This could result in population explosion in the state,

Rural women with Chronic Energy Deficiency (CED)

In case of Jharkhand we find that 47.80% of total women are week and prone to health hazards. This is the result of continuous exposure of women to rigorous work towards livelihood generation and household activities. Because of this, we witness pre-aging symptoms in rural women.

NFHS 2005-2006

Nutritional Status of Women and Body Mass Index:

It is 42.6% below normal for women. Jharkhand is after Bihar (43%) where we find BMI of women is below normal value. It is the result of rigorous work and pressure a women bear, it results in deteriorating health condition of women.

-NFHS 2005-06

Total Marital Fertility Rate: 4.7

Expected children from the women in rural areas is much high as compared to urban areas, which is 4.9 in rural area to 4 in urban area. This is the result of mindset amongst people that with more children they would have more labour force.

International Institute for Population Sciences 2009

Gender perspective

Sex Ratio: 941

Sex ratio in Jharkhand has risen from 922 in the year 1991 to 941 in 2001 (census 2001). It reveals the changing mind set of people. Moreover, there is more girl child in rural area as compared to urban areas. This could be the result of sex selective abortion, where we can find that there is facilities present in urban areas as compare to rural regions.

Maternal Mortality Rate: 371 per 1,00,000 live births

We find that 14% of the deliveries in Jharkhand is institutional, further 17% of women receive assistance. Untrained professionals attend the cases of pregnancy. Health institutions are devoid of Labour room and female medical officers. Thus, women get the benefit of cash transfer under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) initiated by government of India under NRHM.

Facilities to pregnant women
rural urban

Institutional delivery 13.4% 59.3%
Safe delivery 21.0% 64.3%
3 or more antenatal visit 28,0% 66.0%
Mother receiving post natal care 30.9 % 28.0%
Mother who receive any antenatal checkup 52.9% 84.5%

NFHS 2005-2006

Women in urban area has larger access to medical facilities in comparison with rural women as a result of this we find that there is more incidents of death cases are witnessed amongst rural women. In addition to this many areas in the state is geographically isolated therefore, it is difficult to deliver medical facilities in these areas.

60+ age group:

Male 78723

Female 736911


The population is been covered under nation age-old pension. As we witness a large number of women above 60 years they faces difficulties pertaining such as property rights, social and financial security.

Child population(0-6):

Male 2522036

Female 2434791

we can witness that number of male children is more (7245). The children are covered under ICDS scheme, then also we find the children in the state suffer from malnourishment.

Infant Mortality Rate: 50 per 1000 live birth

We find that Infant Mortality Rate in rural areas is 53 as compared to urban, that is 33. Further we can witness that IMR is high in case of girl child that is 58 in general. In rural area it is 62 and in urban areas it is 35. 51% of death occurs because of premature delivery.
Universal Immunization Program (UIP) mainly focuses on immunization of all children. In case of Jharkhand we find that 9% of children are immunized as compared to 42% of national average.

BCG received- 42%
DPT- 22%
Polio- 31%
Measles vaccine- 18%
District Level Household and Facility Survey 2007-08
Therefore, we find that 1/3rd of total children never receive any immunization vaccines.
Total literacy rate of the state is 54.13%, wherein we find that 39.38% of female and 67.94% of male are literate.
gross enrollment ratio of girl child
Total SC ST
Class 1-5 105.42 131.97 191.38
Class 6-8 45.37 45.02 50.85
Class 9-12 12.30 12.29 12.49
Department of Higher Education (2009)
One can see that enrollment ratio keep on decreasing as a girl child go on stepping forward for her study. There are several norms, cultural and social that abstain her to continue her education. Here ones financial condition and social status also play a major role. Some of the major reason for dropout is the requirement of household work, education is not been considered necessary and most importantly many are not having interest in studies. This is relevant in all the cases whether they belong to SC, ST or general category.
Women and economic activities:
Growth rate: 18.9
We witness that the growth rate of the state is 7th highest in India (Registrar General, Vital Statistics Division). Dadra and Nagar Haveli possess the highest growth rate of 24.3.
Work Participation Rate: 26.41%
31.81% of rural women participate in economic activities as we find that agriculture dominate rural economy therefore women in the area are engaged in it. Whereas in urban area we find that only 6.52% of total women participate in economic activities. Women are majorly engaged in sectors like agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting and manufacturing. Thus to conclude we can say that in urban areas women are possessing less freedom as compared to women in rural areas.
Central Statistical Organization. (2007).
Work type:
Women as main worker 1312715
Women as marginal worker 2136459
Census 2001
Women major contribution in an economy is in unorganized sector, where they are marginal and are at a threshold to get out of the system. Proportion of female worker to total population in Jharkhand is 10.05% where rural women contribute 11.52% and contribution of urban women is 4.62%.
Women working in organized sector in thousand:
public sector 61.8
private sector 13.7
Ministry of Labour (2008).
Whereas unemployment in thousand amongst female is 135.1 which is lower than that of male which is 1073.8. unemployment rate amongst female in urban areas is 2.3% and in rural areas is 0.1%.
Crime against women:
There are 753 cases of rape reported in Jharkhand.
There are 257 dowry death, 590 of women are tortured by their husband or relatives.283 cases are there of kidnapping and abduction. 293 women are molested either at the work place or by others and 36 women are sexually harassed.
37% of the married women in Jharkhand face spouse violence.
-National Crime Records Bureau (2009).
Family Counseling Centers (FCC)
Victims of atrocities and harassment are been provided with a service of prevention and rehabilitation; it is done through intervention and systematic counseling. There are 18 FCC in Jharkhand that has benefited 2250 victims. The amount released for the same is 11.65 lakh.
-Ministry of Women and Child Development (2010)
Political participation and women in decision making:
We don’t find any female judge, IAS or IPS in the state. Moreover, there is only 1 women representative in Lok Sabha.
50% reservation are been given to women in PRI election.
Women and disability:
Women in India are disadvantaged and their sufferings gets even more deepen when they are disabled because of their gender and disability.
184148 women in the state are disabled, we can find disability in speech, vision, hearing, mental disorder and locomotor disability.
145465 rural women and 38683 of rural women are disabled.
Women in India are considered to be second sex; her position in the society is not more than a doormat. We witness women suffering, crime against women are increasing and she is not been given equal status in society. Whether it is education, health, decision-making process or power structure we find that women are playing menial role. Her contributions towards household activities are viewed of having no economical value, though a woman in this process beer all pain and suffering.
‘ Women and Human Development
By-Martha C.Nussbaum
‘ Statistics on Women in India (2007)
National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development
‘ Census 2011 data
‘ Census 2001 data
‘ National Family Health Survey Report 2006
‘ National Crime Record Bureau 2006

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