Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Women Empowerment in Assam

Nayak, Purusottam and Mahanta, Bidisha (2009): Women Empowerment in Assam.

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Abstract

The present paper is an attempt to analyze the status of women and their empowerment in terms of various indicators such as access to education, employment, household decision making power, financial autonomy, freedom of movement, exposure to media, political participation, experience of domestic violence etc in the state of Assam using secondary data obtained from various sources. The study reveals that development process in the state is not gender neutral; women enjoy quite inferior status as compared to the average women in India. Percentage of women in the government services and their political participation is quite low and does not show any sign of significant improvement. Sex ratio though not in favor of women is improving over time. Women enjoy better status in the state as compared to women in India in terms of decision making power at the household level while the situation is reverse in case of their financial autonomy and sexual violence. Inter district disparity is rampant in the state. Districts like Kamrup and Tinisukia in spite of having high per capita DDP have not been able to transform the development effort to bridge the gender gap. Districts with high literacy rates are having high proportion of female main and marginal workers and low proportion of non-workers. Higher the literacy higher is the female workforce participation rate. Female enrolment rate is below fifty per cent in spite of universalisation of primary education and provision of mid day meal schemes. Although Government has undertaken a number of steps the situation has remained gloomy mainly because the educated women are not forward looking and cherish the baseless age old customs. There is a need to create awareness towards achieving the desired goal of women empowerment in the state.

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