Bimaru states show the way in Women Empowerment

  • They may be some of the most backward states in the country, but when it comes to women empowerment these states have topped the charts and are well ahead of their more prosperous counterparts like Gujarat, Punjab, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
  • One of the parameters to judge women empower judge women empowerment is by knowing how many are functioning as elected representatives.
  • The government data on elected women representatives in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) shows Jharkhand at the top with elected women representatives constituting more than 59%, followed by Rajasthan (58%), Uttarakhand (57%), Chhattisgarh (55%) and Bihar (52%).
  • In comparison, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, which incidentally have women chief ministers, have one of the lowest elected women representatives at 33% and 34% respectively. The situation is no different in other prosperous states like Punjab having 30% elected women representatives in PRIs, Goa-33% and Haryana-37%.
  • However, empowerment has failed to bring down infant mortality rates and maternal mortality rates (MMR) which remain high in these states. Infant deaths per 1,000 live births is 39 in Jharkhand, in Rajasthan it is 52, Uttarakhand-36, Chhattisgarh-48 and Bihar-44 against the national average of 44.
  • Even on the maternal mortality front, these states continue to lag. In Jharkhand the MMR is 261 per 1,00,000 population against the national average of 212. The MMR for Rajasthan is 318, Uttarakhand-359, Chhattisgarh-269 and Bihar-261.
  • Despite the fact that 16 states have already reserved 50% of seats in PRIs, the total women representations in these panchayat bodies still remain at a low of 46% because of laggard states.There are 13.42 lakh total elected women representatives in PRIs.
  • The states that have reserved 50% quota for women in their PRIs are: Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
  • Though West Bengal, Sikkim, Tripura, Odisha and Maharashtra have all reserved 50% quota for women, their total elected women representatives in PRIs are below this figure.Daman & Diu is at the bottom of the list with only 29% elected women representatives.
Source: TOI

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