In an effort to gauge the development of women living across the country, HT calculated “The Women Empowerment Index” (WEI) for every state. The National Family Health Survey released recently was used for reference.

What is WEI?

WEI is a cumulative score derived after considering eight important factors. Participation of women in household decisions, ownership of land, cell phones and bank account, instances of spousal violence are some of the indicators  used to arrive at a cumulative score called WEI.

Highlights From The Report 

  • Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh,Bihar and West Bengal are among the 10 worst performing states. These states haven’t done much in achieving the objective of women empowerment.
  • The top performing states are Sikkim and Meghalaya.
  • 28.8% of married women have experienced spousal violence.
  • Indian women living in the eastern half of the country are the major victims of spousal violence.
  • Delhi, Maharashtra and Gujarat saw a rapid decline in the performance delivered. Delhi scored low in the Women Empowerment Index because it saw a decline in the number of women participating in the decision making process.
  • Uttarakhand did phenomenally well by jumping 13 positions from 24 in 2005-06 to 13 in 2005-16.
  • Most northeastern states have shown a remarkable improvement in their WEI.

The report highlights a fundamental point. A lot needs to be done in the direction of women empowerment. A country’s development is not gauged by the amount of money its people earn but by the quality of life they lead. India can improve its tarnished image only when the government and citizens collaborate to work on elevating the lives of half its population.

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