In Charts: The Best And Worst States For Women Financial Empowerment
A women walks past the Gateway of India in the Colaba district of Mumbai April 16, 2005. Photographer: Paul Hilton/Bloomberg News

In Charts: The Best And Worst States For Women Financial Empowerment

The performance of Indian states on parameters that measure women empowerment continue to vary widely with large ones like West Bengal and Maharashtra still falling below national on key parameters, while those like Karnataka remain far ahead.

Data provided by the National Family Health Survey published on Saturday judged empowerment of women based on participation of women in decisions about their healthcare, household purchases, personal visits, work, ownership of property, having a bank account, possession of a mobile phone and use of hygienic methods of protection during their menstrual periods.

To analyse financial empowerment, the percentage of working women, those in ownership of property, those with a bank account, and in possession of a mobile phone were compared across states by BloombergQuint. The divergence across states on each of these counts remains stark.

The National Family Health Survey is a government-sponsored survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India. Three rounds of the survey have been conducted since the first survey in 1992-93. It covers a host of subjects on health and family welfare.

Asset Ownership

Among major states, Karnataka and Telangana saw the highest percentage of female owners of assets.

Among major states, 67.6% of the women surveyed in Karnataka and 66.6% of the women surveyed in Telangana owned a house or a piece of land independently or along with others, according to the survey. Ladakh had the highest share of female ownership of assets at 72.2%

The national average in this category stood at 40.7%. Eight states fell below this, with Mizoram (20.8%), Maharashtra (22.9%) and Himachal Pradesh (23.1%) having the lowest share of women ownership of a house or land.

Bank Account

In Karnataka, 88.7% of all surveyed women had a bank account that they themselves operated. Seven other states reported more than 80% of women had such accounts.

In comparison, only 42.6% of all women surveyed owned and operated bank accounts in Gujarat. Maharashtra, too, ranked below the national average of 75%, with 72.8% of all women surveyed having and operating a bank account.

Work And Pay

At 92.2%, Gujarat ranked the highest among states in the percentage of women surveyed who had worked in the last 12 months and were paid in cash.

Telangana, despite having a significantly lower percentage of women such women, also ranked high followed by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra among major Indian states.

The national average in this category was 34.2%. States that had the lowest share of women who had worked and earned in cash include Bihar (12.6%), Jammu & Kashmir (18.4%), Assam (19%), Himachal Pradesh (20.2%) and West Bengal (20.2%).

Mobile Phones

Goa has the highest percentage of women with a mobile phone for their own use at 91.2%. Sikkim (88.6%), Kerala (86.6%) and Nagaland (82.5%) also scored significantly above the national average of 67% in this category

Tripura (22.9%), Andhra Pradesh (48.9%), West Bengal (50.1%) and Bihar (51.4%) had the lowest share of women with mobile phones.

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