Women and Men in India, 2011: Highlights
Table of Contents
Population and Vital Statistics
1. With 1176.74 million persons, India accounts for about 16% of world population in 2010. Seventy percent of the population lives in rural areas. Two important demographic goals of the National Population Policy (2000) are: achieving the population replacement level (Total Fertility Rate, TFR, 2.1) by 2010 and a stable population by 2045. TFR, which was 3.2 in 2000, has declined to 2.6 in 2008. Thus, India is moving towards its goal of replacement level fertility of 2.1.
2. The decadal growth of population during 1991-2001 was 21.5% which is projected to be 15.9% for 2001-2011.
3. The average annual exponential growth rate for men during 1991-2001 was 1.92% as against 1.99% for women. The total annual exponential growth rate for 2006-10 has been estimated at 1.95%.
4. The sex ratio (number of women per 1000 men) was 933 in 2001 and is projected to be 932 in 2010.
5. Preference for son varies according to social groups and regions in India. 20% men and 22.3% women prefer to have more sons than daughters. (NFHS III, 2005-06).
6. An increasing trend in mean age at marriage is observed for females in India. It has gone up from 19.8 years in 2000 to 20.7 years in 2008.
7. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is 2.6 for the year 2008, being 2.9 in the rural areas and 2.0 in the urban areas.
8. The mortality rate among females across all ages is 6.8 and that among males is 8.0 for the year 2008. The female mortality rate in the age group 0-4 years has declined to 16.1 in 2008 from 20.6 in 2000.
9. Out of 150.18 million households in the rural areas in 2004-05, 16.67 million are Female Headed Households (11.10%). In the urban sector, out of the total of 56.97 million households, 4.85 million are Female Headed (10.9%).
10. The percentage of never married females and married females across all the age groups is 43.9 and 47.9, respectively, in 2008. The Widowed/ Divorced or Separated constitute 8.0% of the population in 2008.
11. The migration percentage in different streams for females as per the Census 2001 is: rural to rural-71%; rural to urban-13.6%; urban to urban-9.7% and urban toRural-5.6%. The migration among females is maximum due to marriage (64.9%). Among the males, the important cause of migration is employment (37.6%).
Health and Well Being
12. The majority of women go through their life in a state of nutritional stress- they are anemic and malnourished. Poverty, early marriage, malnutrition and lack of health care during pregnancy are the major reasons for both maternal and infant mortality. The average Indian woman bears her first child before she is 22 years old, and has little control over her own fertility and reproductive health. In rural India, almost 60 per cent of girls are married before they are 18. Nearly 60 per cent of married girls bear children before they are 19. Almost one third of all babies are born with low birth weight.
13. Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) has been decreasing over the years. The IMR for females in India is 55 compared to 52 for males in 2008.
14. Life Expectancy at Birth (LEB) has increased more among women compared to men. It is observed that in 2002-06 LEB for males was 62.6 years compared to 64.2 years for females.
15. Delivery at a health facility is an indicator of programmatic effort for safe motherhood. It is observed that 47% deliveries took place at a health facility in India. (DLHS, 2007-08).
16. Maternal Mortality in India during 2004-06 is 254 per 100,000 live births, being the highest in Assam (485) followed by Uttar Pradesh (440) and Rajasthan (388). The percentage distribution of deaths of expected mothers due to causes related with pregnancy and child birth shows that hemorrhage is the most common cause (38%). Other causes are sepsis (11%), abortion (8%) and obstructed labour (5%).
17. 56% of the women in the age group 15-19 are anemic The share of deliveries in hospitals, maternity/ nursing homes, health centers, etc. is 40.8% while the deliveries assisted by doctors, trained ‘dais’, trained midwives, trained nurses, etc. constitute another 48.8%.(NFHS-III, 2005-06).
18. Over 99% of married women know about any of the methods of contraception. The awareness about the female sterilization is very high in both urban and rural areas. The rural women are found to be less aware about the traditional methods (56.5%), though it has increased significantly over the last 7-8 years. (NFHS-III, 2005-06).
19. Women also lead a differential life style. 32% women in India drink alcohol, 57% chew paan masala and 33% women smoke currently. (NFHS-III, 2005-06).
Literacy and Education
20. Census of India, 2001 indicates that only 54% women are literate as compared to 76% men (female literacy was 39% in Census 1991). Female literacy is highest in Kerala (88%) and lowest in Bihar (33%). The Adult Literacy rate of females (aged 15 yrs and above) is 48% in 2001 against 73.4% for adult males. However, 14.6% females and 17.4% males are literate without any formal education.
21. Year 2007-08 indicates a trend reversal; with the girls’ enrolment in the three levels of school education – primary, middle and secondary – being more than that of boys in the respective levels. Girls’ enrolment for the year 2007-08 in primary classes was 115.3% (age group 6-11 yrs), 81.5% in middle school (age‐group 11-14 yrs) and 49.4% in high/ higher secondary classes (age‐group 14-18 years). The year 2007-08 records 24.4% as the dropout rate for the girls in the primary classes (class I-V), 41.3% for elementary classes (Class I-VIII) and 57.3% for secondary (Class I-X) showing marginal decline in dropout rates as compared to 2006-07.
22. The main reasons of females never attending school are ‘expensive cost of education’, ‘not interested in studies’, ‘education is not considered necessary’ and ‘required for household work’. (NFHS-III, 2005-06).
23. In 2007-08, the number of girls enrolled in primary classes was 91 per 100 boys and for middle classes it was 84 girls per 100 boys. In the secondary section, the ratio stands at 77 girls per 100 boys. In the year 2006-07, there were 76.9 females per 100 males enrolled in arts stream in university education. For science, it was 71.2 females per 100 males and in commerce, there were 60.9 females per 100 males. The engineering and technical education consisted of 35.8 females per 100 males and in medicine (which includes dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, Ayurvedic and Unani) there were 89.5 females enrolled per 100 males.
24. In 2007-08, at primary and middle school level, there were 80 and 67 female teachers respectively per 100 male teachers. At the secondary school level, it was 61 female teachers per 100 male teachers.
Participation in Economy
25. As per Census 2001, the number of workers in the urban areas is 92.28 million of which only 16.10 million are females. In rural areas, out of 310 million workers, 111 million are females. 42.95% of the rural female working population is involved as agricultural labour (not in cultivation). Women constitute 90 per cent of the total marginal workers of the country. As per NSS 64thRound, 2007-08, the workforce participation rate of females in rural sector was 28.9 while that for males was 54.8. In Urban sector, it was 13.8 for females and 55.4 for males. According to Quarterly Employment Review, Ministry of Labour, the total employment of women in organized sector was 19.5% in 2007.
26. Women work longer hours than men, and carry the major share of household and community work that is unpaid and invisible. According to the pilot Time Use Survey conducted in 18,620 households spread over six selected States, namely, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Meghalaya during the period June 1998 to July 1999, women spent about 2.1 hours per day on cooking food and about 1.1 hours on cleaning the households and utensils. Men’s participation in these activities was nominal. Taking care of children was one of the major responsibilities of women, as they spent about 3.16 hours per week on these activities as compared to only 0.32 hours by males. There were far fewer women in the paid workforce than there were men. There were more unemployed women than there were unemployed men.
27. It has been estimated that women’s wage rates are, on the average, 75% of men’s wage rates and constitute only one fourth of the family income. In no State do women and men earn equal wages in agriculture. Also, women generally work in the informal sector where wages are lower and they are not covered by labour laws. Women workers are also engaged in piecework and subcontracting at exploitative rates.
28. Women’s contribution to agriculture — whether it be subsistence farming or commercial agriculture — when measured in terms of the number of tasks performed and time spent, is greater than men. Most of the work that women do, such as collecting fuel, fodder and water, or growing vegetables, or keeping poultry for domestic consumption, goes unrecorded in the Census counts.
30. The Public Sector consists of highest number of women in community, social and personal services, whereas in private sector majority of employed women are in manufacturing industries. (DGET-2007)
29. The Ministry of Rural Development runs various programmes to bring women into mainstream and to encourage their participation in the process of national development. These programmes have special components for women and funds are earmarked as ‘Women Component’. The various schemes benefiting women are the Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana (SGRY), the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), the Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP), and the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP). The statistics of the Department of Rural Development state that in 2008-09, 18.61 lakh Swarojgaris were employed out of which 64.80% were female beneficiaries. Percentage of women employed in NREGA has increased from 42.58 in 2007‐08 to 47.88 in 2008-09.
30. The Basic Statistical Returns of Scheduled Commercial Banks in India, 2008 finds that in rural areas only 2.79% of female employees are officers, 7.04% are clerks and 5.19% are subordinates. In semi‐urban areas, these figures are 7.01%, 16.7% and 9.22%, respectively, whereas in urban areas the officers, clerks and subordinates are 14.07%, 27.7% and 10.58% respectively.
31. Also, 21% bank accounts in commercial banks belong to females. The share (in terms of amounts deposited) of females in total deposited amount is 10.3%.
Participation in Decision-making
32. Although Indian women played a major role in the freedom movement, it did not translate into continued participation in public life in the post-independence era. On the contrary, many women withdrew into their homes, secure in the belief that they had ushered in a democratic republic in which the dreams and aspirations of the mass of people would be achieved.
33. Women are under-represented in governance and decision making positions. At present, women occupy less than 8% of the Cabinet positions, less than 9% of seats in High Courts and the Supreme Court, and less than 12% of administrators and managers are women. In June 2009, out of 40 Cabinet Ministers, there were only three female Cabinet Ministers. There were only 4 female Ministers of State (MOS), out of 38 MOS in 2009. As on June 2009, there was no female judge out of 24 Judges in the Supreme Court. In the High Courts, there were only 51 female judges among the total of 649 judges.
34. However, through the vehicle of the Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies more than one million women have entered active political life in India, owing to one‐third reservation in these bodies through the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution. These amendments have spearheaded an unprecedented social experiment, which is playing itself out in more than 500,000 villages that are home to more than 600 million people. Women are heading one-third of the panchayats and are gradually learning to use their new prerogatives, have transformed local governance by sensitizing the State to the issues of poverty, inequality and gender injustice. Since the creation of the quota system, local women–the vast majority of them being illiterate and poor – have come to occupy as much as 54% of the seats, spurring the election of increasing numbers of women at the district, provincial and national levels. Since the onset of PRI, the percentages of women in various levels of political activity have gone up to 36.7% in 2007.
35. According to National Family Health Survey –III (2005-06) in the rural sector currently married women take 26% decisions regarding obtaining health care for herself and 7.6% in case of purchasing major household items. 10% decisions are taken by females in respect of visiting their family or relatives. For urban areas, these figures are 29.7 %, 10.4 % and 12.2 % respectively.
36. In the age group of 15-19 years, 46% of women are not involved in any kind of decision making. In the rural sector, 23.4 % females are not involved in any decision-making while, in the urban sector, only 13.9 % of urban resident women are not involved in any decision making. It is found that 32.7% illiterate women, 21.6% unemployed women are not involved in any decision making. For the country as a whole, 59.6% have access to money.
Crimes against Women
37. Crimes against women have become universal reality for all societies. Among the crimes committed against women in 2008, torture shares the highest percentage (42%), followed by molestation (21%). 11.0% cases are that of rape, 11.7% of kidnapping and abduction, and 1.0% of immoral trafficking. It is also significant to note that 6.0% cases are of sexual harassment and 4.1% of dowry deaths.
38. Out of a total 20771 victims, there were 617 victims who were less than 10 years of age, 1355 in the age group 10-14 years, 3152 in the age group 14-18 years, 11984 in the age group 18-23 years, 3530 in the age group of 30-50 years and 133 in the age group greater than 50 years.
39. In 2008, of the total juvenile delinquency, 5.0% were girls. Also, the rate of incidence of the crime per lakh population was 2.1.
India in International Arena
40. India ranks 134 in 2009 among 178 countries in terms of the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) and 114 in terms of Gender Development Index (GDI).
- Women and Men in India, 2011, http://mospi.nic.in/Mospi_New/upload/women_men_2011_31oct11.pdf
- Crime against Women in Gender Equality in India, 2010
- Women and Men in India, 2010