DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20175434

A study of empowerment level in currently married women in western Maharashtra, India

Priya M. Prabhu

Abstract


Background: Empowerment of women in all fields constitutes one of the fundamental objectives of development efforts in a region. Laws can support the endeavour of women’s empowerment, but considering the complex cultural beliefs and practices that lie at the root of the imbalance, the effectiveness of such isolated efforts remains doubtful. Present study was planned to assess level of women’s empowerment in western region of Maharashtra with objectives to measure various direct and indirect indicators of women’s empowerment by different background characteristics.

Methods: A cross-sectional study using structured questionnaire based interviews was carried out in female outpatients in tertiary care hospital. The sample of 300 currently married women in reproductive age-group was selected by systematic random sampling.

Results: Out of 360 women majority belonged to Hindu religion (65%), and households of middle standard of living (71.7%) and 76.6% women were married below age of 21. 38.3% women were always involved in household decision making. Regarding freedom of movement, 38.3% women have complete freedom whereas 41.7% women have some control over economic resources. But only 30% women have personal savings. 60% women have favourable attitude towards girls’ education, and only 33.3% women defy domestic violence.

Conclusions: There are significant divergences in the direct and indirect indices of women’s empowerment and there is much scope for improvement in self-esteem of women.


Keywords


Decision autonomy, Domestic violence, Gender equality, Indicators of empowerment, Patriarchy, Women Empowerment

Full Text:

PDF

References


Gupta K, Yesudian PP. Evidence of women’s empowerment in India: a study of socio-spatial disparities. Geo J. 2006;65:365-80.

Malhotra A, Schuler SR, Boender C. Measuring women empowerment as a variable in international development. Paper Prepared for World Bank Workshop, Washington. 2002:1-58.

Kravdal, Ø. Child mortality in India: individual and community effects of women's education and autonomy. Population Studies. 2004;58(2):177-92.

Singh B. Population stabilization through women’s empowerment: a challenge before the nation. Ind J of Com Med. 2003;28(2):64-6.

Murthi, M, Guio AC, Drkze J. Mortality, Fertility, and Gender Bias in India: A District-Level Analysis. Population and Development Review. 1995;21:745-82.

Shastri VD. Measuring and analyzing womens empowerment/autonomy: a cross state comparative study based on National Family Health Survey-2. [Unpublished] 2002. Presented at the 25th Annual Conference of the Indian Association for the Study of Population International Institute for Population Sciences Mumbai India. 2002.

Park K. Park’s textbook of preventive and social medicine. 19th ed. M/s Banarasidas Bhanot pulisher, Jaipur, India;2007.

Mukherjee P, Saraswati LR. Women’s empowerment and gender preferences for children: A study of four metropolitan cities in India. Available at www.isical.ac.in/~wemp/Papers/Paper ProtapMukherjee.doc. Accessed 5 November 2017.

Roy TK, Niranjan S. Indicators of women’s empowerment in India. Asia-Pacific Population J. 2004;19(3):23-37.

Kishor S. Empowrment of women in Egypt and links to survival and health of their infants. In Presser HB, Sen G (ed.), Women’s empowerment and demographic processes by IUSSP, Oxford University Press;1998:119-56.

Roy TK, Niranjan S. Empowerment of women in India: indicators and its evidence. [Unpublished] 2002. Presented at the 25th annual conference of the indian association for the study of population international institute for population sciences Mumbai India; 2002.

Antai DE, Antai JB. Attitudes of women toward intimate partner violence: a study of rural women in Nigeria. Rural Remote Health. 2008;8(3):996.

Kishore J. National health programs of India. National policies and legislations related to health. 6th ed. Century Publications, Delhi; 2006:13.

Bloom SS, Wypij D, Gupta MD. Dimensions of women’s autonomy and the influence on maternal health care utilization in north Indian city. Demography. 2001;38(1):67-78.

Yesudian PP. Impact of women’s empowerment, autonomy and attitude on maternal health care utilization in India. 2005;8.

Saleem S, Bobak M. Women's autonomy, education and contraception use in Pakistan: a national study. Reproductive health. 2005;2(1):8.

Sharma U. Women, work and property in North-West India. Tavistock Publications, London; 1983.