In the second part of the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5), all 14 states questioned indicated a considerable increase in the number of women who had their own bank account in the previous five years.
According to national statistics, over 80% of women now have a bank account that they utilise, up from 53% in 2015-16 to 78.6% in 2019-21.
The results, together with information on women who own a home or land, as well as those who own mobile phones, provide important insights into the economic and social standing of women in Indian homes, as well as their participation in decision-making.
While cheap prices have increased mobile phone usage among women across states since late 2016, Haryana and Chandigarh have seen a decline in the percentage of women who own and use their own phones. In Haryana, for example, women used mobile phones at 50.4 % in 2020-2021, a tiny decrease from 50.5 percent in 2015-16. The proportion of women who own mobile phones in the Union Territory of Chandigarh has similarly decreased, from 74.2 percent in 2015-16 to 70% now.
The percentage of women who use their phones has increased throughout India, from 45.9% in 2015-16 to 54% in 2019–21.
Land/house ownership among women increased in the 14 states, with the exception of five states/UTs: MP, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Delhi NCT, and Puducherry.
In large agrarian states, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh bucked the national trend of women owning less land than men.
For example, in Punjab, 63.5% surveyed owned a home or property (alone or jointly) in 2020-21, compared to 32.1 percent in 2015-16.
Women’s land/house ownership increased in Uttar Pradesh, another significant agricultural state, from 34.2% in 2015-16 to 51.9% in 2020-21.
However, in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the other two major agricultural states, women’s land and house ownership declined or did not increase much during this time.
In Madhya Pradesh, 39.9% of women surveyed in 2020-21 owned a home or land, compared to 43.5 percent in 2015-16. In Rajasthan, the figure for 2020-21 was 26.6 %, a little increase from 24.1% in 2015-16.
The survey does not provide the average size of women’s landholdings, but it does reveal the proportion of women who own land or homes.
There has been a significant increase in the number of women who have bank accounts that they use, with Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Puducherry, and Punjab topping the list.
According to the survey, the proportion of women with a bank account in Madhya Pradesh grew to 74.7% in 2020-21 from 37.3% in 2015-16, while in Jharkhand, it increased to 79.6% from 45.1% in 2013-16.
Bankers and researchers attribute the increase in bank account usage to the impact of the PM Jan Dhan Yojana’s account opening effort during the previous seven years, which allowed women and families to join the banking system.
“The large increase in women possessing a bank account (over 80%) throughout the 5-year period ending FY21 reflects increased women empowerment and, as a result, a voice in family financial decision-making.” Women have registered more than half of Jan Dhan accounts, and more than half of the employees on the newly created E-Shram platform are women,” stated Soumya Kanti Ghosh, State Bank of India’s Group Chief Economic Adviser.
As part of the second phase of the survey, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare published the NHFS-5, which captured trends in 14 states and UTs. Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Delhi NCT, and Puducherry are among them. In the first phase, the remaining states and UTs were surveyed, and the findings were announced in December 2020.
Source: The Indian Express