Srinagar– Besides the worsening status of J&K’s nutritional indicators especially among women, the fifth edition of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) series has revealed that the erstwhile state lacks a proper gender equality system when it comes to employment as only 21.9 percent of women between 15-49 age group are currently employed.
Last month, the government released the fifth part of the National Family Health Survey for India including J&K. Among others, several included indicators are of great importance to J&K in terms of female health. The report also contains indicators that are relevant to the Sustainable Development Goal of gender equality (SDG-5) in J&K.
Among the indicators released for the erstwhile state of J&K, several were based on education, educational freedom, economic contribution, economic freedom, household management and decision-making, perceived status within the household, and health that have always maintained an influence on the status of women in J&K.
The report has noted that 21.9 percent of women in J&K are currently employed against 68.2 percent of men, expressing a great disparity in women’s empowerment in the Union Territory. Moreover, in Northern India, J&K has the fourth lowest percentage of women who are currently employed.
According to the survey, the percentage of married women who were employed in the 12 months preceding the survey stands at 30.3 percent while for men in the same age group, the percentage was recorded at 97 percent. Among this, 60.8 percent earn cash while 98.3 percent men earn cash.
However, last year, the NFHS-5 factsheet on, “Women’s Empowerment (women age 15-49 years)” in J&K had shown an upliftment in the percentage of women who are participating in household decisions, if they are allowed to have a say in decisions related to their health, family and several other ‘empowering’ points.
As per NFHS-5, married women in J&K who are allowed to have a say in the decision making process in their family have been recorded at 81.6 percent during 2019-2020. “Women who worked and were paid in cash in the last 12 months has recorded a maximum increase from 12.3 percent in NFHS-4(2015-16) to 18.4 percent in NFHS-5,” the report reads.
The report has also revealed that women in J&K who own a house or land (alone or jointly with others) have also increased in the last two years. In NFHS-4, the percentage of such women was recorded at 33.1 percent that has relatively increased by almost 24 percent in NFHS-5.
In NFHS-5 the percentage of such women was recorded at 57.3 percent in J&K and the percentage was much better in rural areas (60.8 percent) compared to urban areas (48.2 percent).
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