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According to the report titled: Women and Men in India 2011, 13th issue, MoSPI,


• The average Indian woman bears her first child before she is 22 years old, and has little control over her own fertility and reproductive health. In rural India, almost 60 per cent of girls are married before they are 18. Nearly 60 per cent of married girls bear children before they are 19. Almost one third of all babies are born with low birth weight.  

• An increasing trend in mean age at marriage is observed for females in India. It has gone up from 19.8 years in 2000 to 20.7 years in 2008.

• The sex-ratio (number of women per 1000 men) was 933 in 2001 and is projected to be 932 in 2010.

• Preference for son varies according to social groups and regions in India. 20% men and 22.3% women prefer to have more sons than daughters. (NFHS-III, 2005-06).

• The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is 2.6 for the year 2008, being 2.9 in the rural areas and 2.0 in the urban areas.

• The mortality rate among females across all ages is 6.8 and that among males is 8.0 for the year 2008. The female mortality rate in the ageâ€?group 0â€?4 years has declined to 16.1 in 2008 from 20.6 in 2000.

• Out of 150.18 million households in the rural areas in 2004-05, 16.67 million are Female Headed Households (11.10%). In the urban sector, out of the total of 56.97 million households, 4.85 million are Female Headed (10.9%).

• The percentage of never married females and married females across all the age-groups is 43.9 and 47.9, respectively, in 2008. The Widowed/ Divorced or Separated constitute 8.0% of the population in 2008.

• The migration percentage in different streams for females as per the Census 2001 is: rural to rural- 71%; rural to urban- 13.6%; urban to urban- 9.7% and urban to rural- 5.6%. The migration among females is maximum due to marriage (64.9%). Among the males, the important cause of migration is employment (37.6%).

• Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) has been decreasing over the years. The IMR for females in India is 55 compared to 52 for males in 2008.

• Life Expectancy at Birth (LEB) has increased more among women compared to men. It is observed that in 2002-06 LEB for males was 62.6 years compared to 64.2 years for females.

• 56%  of the women in the age group 15-19 are anaemic  The share of deliveries in hospitals, maternity/ nursing homes, health centers, etc. is 40.8% while the deliveries assisted by doctors, trained ‘dais’, trained midwives, trained nurses, etc. constitute another 48.8% (NFHS-III, 2005-06). 

• Over 99% of married women know about any of the methods of contraception. The awareness about the female sterilization is very high in both urban and rural areas. The rural women are found to be less aware about the traditional methods (56.5%), though it has increased significantly over the last 7â€?8 year (NFHS-III, 2005-06).

• Women also lead a differential life style. 32% women in India drink alcohol, 57% chew paan masala and 33% women smoke currently (NFHS-III, 2005-06).

• Among the crimes committed against women in 2008, torture shares the highest percentage (42%), followed by molestation (21.%). 11.0% cases are that of rape, 11.7% of kidnapping and  abduction, and 1.0% of Immoral Trafficking. It is also significant to note that 6.0% cases are of sexual harassment and 4.1% of Dowry deaths.

• Out of a total 20771 victims, there were 617 victims who were less than 10 years of age, 1355 in the age-group 10â€?14 years, 3152 in the age-group 14-18 years, 11984 in the age-group 18-23 years, 3530 in the age-group of 30-50 years and 133 in the age-group greater than 50 years.

• According to National Family Health Survey–III (2005-06) in the rural sector currently married women take 26% decisions regarding obtaining health care for herself and 7.6% in case of purchasing major household items. 10% decisions are taken by females in respect of visiting their family or relatives. For urban areas, these figures are 29.7%, 10.4% and 12.2% respectively.

• According to the pilot Time Use Survey conducted in 18,620 households spread over six selected States, namely, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Meghalaya during the period June 1998 to July 1999, women spent about 2.1 hours per day on cooking food and about 1.1 hours on cleaning the households and utensils. Men’s participation in these activities was nominal. Taking care of children was one of the major responsibilities of women, as they spent about 3.16 hours per week on these activities as compared to only 0.32 hours by males. There were far fewer women in the paid workforce than there were men. There were more unemployed women than there were unemployed men.  

• In 2007-08, at primary and middle school level, there were 80 and 67 female teachers respectively per 100 male teachers. At the secondary school level, it was 61 female teachers per 100 male teachers.


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