Have women started having a say in household decisions pertaining to healthcare and household purchases and the operating of bank accounts? A survey says yes. According to the findings of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), a major jump has been recorded in the number of women having a bank account that they themselves use over the last five years.
The survey result of 14 phase-II states and Union Territories of the country showed that close to 80.9 per cent of women in urban areas now have a bank account that they use, while 77.4 per cent of women in rural areas are in possession of a bank account. In total, 78.6 per cent of women have bank accounts in 2019-21 that they use, which is a significant rise since NFHS-4 (2015-16), when 53 per cent of women were using the facility.
Women Aged 15-49 Years Had Greater Say In Households
Further, the survey revealed that a greater number of women in the age group 15-49 years had a say in deciding for healthcare for themselves, major household purchases, and visits to family and relatives. The number of women having a say in these decisions shot up from 73.8 per cent in 2015-16 to 92 per cent in 2020-21, reported Hindustan Times.
The number of women who own a mobile phone went up from 66.6 per cent to 73.8 per cent. Further, it showed that the number of women who worked in the past year and were paid in cash increased from 21.1 per cent to 24.9 per cent.
The data for the survey was collected in two phases — between January 4, 2020, and March 2, 2020 (prior to the COVID lockdown), and between November 21, 2020, and January 20, 2021.
The survey also covered women aged 15-24 years who use hygienic methods of protection during their menstrual period. It showed that 77.3 per cent of women took care of hygiene in 2019-21, up from 57.6 per cent in 2015-16.
However, the gains did not translate into land-holding patterns, with the number of women owning land and houses declining. As per the survey, the number of women owning land or a house decreased 34.9 per cent to 22.7 per cent (an 8 per cent drop almost).