NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH DESK
New Delhi, March 13 2012: UN Women and the National Commission for Women have launched a report, “Understanding Gender Equality in India – 2012”, which presents gender differentials across states and the status of women’s empowerment in India. Analyzing several indicators like sex ratio, maternal mortality, literacy rate and women’s employment, the report is a comprehensive analysis of secondary data from several sources like the Census of India and District Level Household Surveys.
Speaking at the launch, Ms. Gulden Türköz-Cosslett, Director, UN Women’s Programme Support Division hoped that the Report “will influence programme development and implementation so that women’s empowerment becomes core to the development response in India”. She was speaking along with Ms. Anita Agnihotri, Member Secretary, National Commission for Women at an event that included media personnel, policy makers, government officials and the civil society.
“The indicators for survival like maternal mortality are showing signs of improvement. Women’s access to health especially that related to institutional deliveries has improved. However certain states are recording huge gender deficits in the area of women’s survival, their freedoms and visibility,” says Madhu Bala Nath, Regional Policy Advisor, UN Women South Asia, and leader of the Team that provided technical support for the report.
Goa, for example, has data that is above the national average on access to education with high enrolment and low dropout rates. It has also shown relatively high percentage of women’s access to salaried employment as well as low rates of infant mortality and crimes against women.
The report also highlights that many women have been able to enter grassroots politics. UN Women works closely with the Government of India to strengthen gender issues in governance. “We focus on what panchayats can do for women and ensure that they have the confidence and skills to become stronger leaders,” says Anne F. Stenhammer, Regional Programme Director, UN Women South Asia. UN Women works closely with the National Commission for Women in India to improve the status of women. “We hope that we can continue to partner with the national women’s machinery in India to strengthen work in this area to address the multidimensional poverty that women face in India,” reiterated Madhubala Nath, Regional Policy Advisor, UN Women South Asia. UN Women has provided technical support to the National Commission for Women to undertake the analysis of secondary data.