Women Status in Assam
Last updated: November 19, 2019
- Women in India are comparatively backward as compared to other countries.
- Assam is one of the eight states of northeast India and bordering 7 states like Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and West Bengal.
- With a geographical area of 78,438 sq. Kms i.e, about 2.4 percent of the country’s total geographical area.
- Assam-provides shelter to 2,57 percent of the population of the country.
- Assam has a population of 31,160,272 as in the 2011 census, of which 15,954.927 are males and 15,214,345 are females.
- The sex ratio (females per 1000 males) is 954 and the female literacy ratio 1s 67.27 percent.
- At the same time, Women must have a share in the decision-making process in the family.
- In the public sphere and access the rights and opportunities provided by the state and society at large.
- Thus, this paper is trying to look into the different aspects that shape up the women-status in Assam.
|Sr. no||Types of Cases||The year 2009||The year 2010|
- According to Article 14, 15 and 16 of the Indian Constitution guarantee the absence of discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, etc.
- Women have got full rights of the franchise like men, as per Directive Principles of State Policy.
- Parliament has enacted laws giving equal rights to women in marriage. etc.
- In spite of the above Constitutional provisions are not getting out of the shackles.
- Women are facing problems to: –
- Age-old Superstitious
- Dogmatisms like witch-hunting
- Purdah system
- Dowry system
- Early marriage
- They are still a strong part of women In Indian society in general and Assam in particular.
- They remain suppressed by their husbands., in-laws.
- Spend most of their time in household chores and remain economically dependent throughout life and viewed as inferior in the man dominated society.
- In the joint families, they have no freedom, no privacy and no good treatment from the in-laws.
- A partial lift is visible through the: –
- Social Marriage Act, 1954
- Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
- Succession Act, 1956
- Violence against women is a manifestation of the historically unequal power relation between men and women.
- It led to domination over and discrimination against women my men.
- All the men and women face violence and overwhelming maturity of victims of sexual assault and domestic violence are women.
- Assam is the second state in the country with the highest report on crimes against women dowry.
- Witch-hunting is the main reason for Assam to get a bad name.
- Domestic violence kidnapping rape and other crimes that fall under section 498 of IPC are being the most registered cases in Assam.
- ( Source: Manipur news, Manipur mail, 29 May 2012 )
- In India, discrimination against female children has been a subject of concern.
- In the Indian context, irrespective of the caste, creed, religion and social status.
- According to the 2001 census in Assam, the ratio was 932 but it has increased tremendously in 2011 with 954 females per 1000 male.
- ( Source: Provisional population totals India-Data sheet )
The economic aspect of women in Assam:
- Women are generally economically dependent and backward.
- Economic independence very essential is not alone sufficient to give women the strength needed to face the battle.
- Even economically independent women have to depend on their parents or husbands for relatives for shelter.
- There are misconceptions that they are not economically contributors.
- Female work participation is another indicator of women’s status in society.
- Though the female work participation rate (FWPR) is high, as it is subsistence farming.
- Women do not benefit economically, though they share a disproportionate share of the work burden.
- The work participation rate of the women in Assam is considerably lower than that of men in general except in the primary sector where the rates are in favor of men.
- The women’s participation of women in the secondary and tertiary sectors is lower in Assam.
- According to the economic survey, Assam 2009-10, women constitute 32.5 percent of all organized sector workers, as opposed to only 19 percent for all India in the same sector.
- Interestingly, since the 1990s women’s employment in the organized sector has been approximately around 30%.
- Where major cities of women employed in the sector are employed by the tea industry which is one of the largest organized sectors in Assam.
- There is permanent temporary or casual labor.
Educational Aspects of Assam women:
- Drop out is one of the category under Educational aspects of Assam women which are as follows:
- In the field of education women in Assam are in a better position than the all India average.
- The educational attainment of women in Assam can be analyzed through the female literacy rate and female enrollment rate at different stages of education.
- As per the 2001 census, the literacy rate for Assam is 63.3 percent as against 64.8 percent for India.
- While male literacy is 70 1.3% as against 75.3% for India. Female literacy stands at 54.61 percent.
- According to census 2011 highlighted that an encouraging rise from 54 61 percent in 2001 to 6727 in 2011, showing a sharp rise of about 31 percent in female literacy rate.
- The report has put the overall rate of the State at 73.18 percent.
- The male-female gap in the literacy rate is still perceptible although it is declining over time and is much below the all-India average.
- Attainment of a higher literacy rate alone does not make a community educationally advanced.
- Completion of the primary stage of education and continuation of school up to 15 years of age. etc are taken as indicators of educational attainment.
- The phenomenon. of school drop-out is a negative indicator of educational attainment.
- The drop-out rates of both boys and girls in Assam remained higher than the all-India average from 2001 to 2011. The drop-out rate of girls was higher in most of the years.
- Despite increased educational attainment of women in Assam the drop-out rate is stıll increasıng.
- The average drop- out rate for girls has increased from 5.0 percent in 2009-10 to 11.9 percent in 2011-12 at the primary level.
- Some of the main reason for drop out or slow progress of girls education are as follows:-
- The social conditions such as conservation of the parent’s prejudice against the girl’s education early marriages of the girls’ utility of girls at home in order to help their mothers in their household work and to look after their younger siblings when parents are away to work.
- Economic backwardness off the ruler community.
- There is a lack of educational facilities.
- Lack of women teachers in school especially in rural areas.
- A lot Lack of proper supervision and guidance.
The health aspect of Assam women:
- MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE
- ANEMIA DEFICIENCY
- INSTITUTIONAL DELIVERIES
- Health is one of the factors that determine the status of women in society.
- Looking at the different health indicators of Assam women status is in bad shape.
Maternal mortality rate:
- According to the report 2011, sample registration system, registrar general.
- Assam has recorded 390 MMR against 1,00,000 per live birth.
- Whereas the annual health survey 2010 to 2011 has recorded 381 MMR against 1,00,000 live births.
- Most of the women in Assam suffering from anemia.
- The causes are a lack of nutritional food due to: –
- Extreme poverty
- Lack of awareness.
- As per NHFS-3rd, the incidence of anemia was found among 72% of pregnant women within the age group of 15 to 49 years in Assam.
- Anemia is prevalent among women in general and NFHS-3rd records that 69.9% of every married between the 15 to 49 years are anemic.
- (Source: NFHS-lll, 2005 to 2006).
- HIV/AIDS is more prevalent among young people.
- As per Assam AIDS control society, till December 2011, the blood test had been carried out among 1,82,834 people across the state.
- Out of this, 112 pregnant women tested positive for the HIV virus and 76 of them have already been delivered.
- In Assam, the institutional deliveries have gone up.
- In 2006 there are only e 66000 institutional deliveries in Assam while 420000 institutional deliveries have been recorded in the state last year.
- From 2005 to 2006 institutional deliveries in Assam increased by 39% compared to the year 2001 to 2002.
- From 2011 to 2012 institutional deliveries increased by 212 percent compare two to 2005 to 2006 according to the NRHM report.
Political aspects of Assam women:
- It is a fact that the status of women in Assam is the worst in terms of their position in decision-making bodies.
- In Assam in 1977, out of three female candidates who contested for the Lok Sabha and two candidates who contested for the Lok sabha and two candidates were elected.
- In 1980, out of the two female candidates who contested for the Lok Sabha none were elected.
- No woman from the state of Assam contested in the 1984 and 1989 elections.
- In 1991 seven female candidates contested for the Lok Sabha but none was elected.
- None was elected. In 1996 only one woman was elected to the Lok Sabha out of 9 candidates who contested.
- Despite having a glorious history the status of Assam women is worst in terms of their position in decision-making bodies.
- Assam has 14 Lok Sabha seats and 7 for the Rajya Sabha.
- Since its first general election women from Assam do not get proper representation in both the houses of the parliament.
- They are still lagging behind the male counterpart. In the Lok Sabha of 2004 out of 116 candidates, only six female candidates contested but none won.
- The position is little but improved in the 2009 election where out of 158 candidates 11 females forwarded their candidature and to managed to win the election.
- Hands-only 14% of the member of parliament from Assam in current Lok Sabha than are women.
- The participation of women is low not only in the elected bodies but also in administrative posts.
- (Source: Assam Lok sabha 2009 election)
Different government schemes provided for women in Assam:
- National Rural Health Mission (NRHS)
- National Bowari Scheme
- Baidu and Nabon Schemes
- Swarnajayanti Gram Swarohgar Yojana
- Janani Sishu Suraksha Krayakaram (JSSK)
- The Swayamsidha is an integrated scheme for women’s empowerment formally launch in 2011 replacing the India Mahila yojana and Mahila Sambridhi yojana.
- The program is based on the formation of women self-help groups (SHG’s) and enables the SHG to take up schemes and programs for the social and economic empowerment of women.
- The long term objective of the program is to bring about all the empowerment of women.
- By ensuring their Direct Access To and control over resources through a sustained process of mobilization and convergence of all the ongoing sectoral programs and other agencies.
- Under the social welfare department, there are many beneficial rights from children to women and aged persons.
- Under this scheme in Assam, there is 24 number of ICDS project blocks.
- Various schemes for women have helped women in many ways right from health and the forms of different nutritional supplements.
- Their economic conditions also improve with the scheme for the formation of various SHG’s.
- About 1173 numbers of SHG’s is the nursing stage under this scheme.
- Draw the various schemes under the welfare department has benefited many there are many loopholes in the functioning of this program.
- The ministry of women and child development under the government of India set up a scheme for women in difficult circumstances known as Swadhar.
- The objectives of the scheme are as follows:-
- To provide the primary need for shelter food clothing and care to the marginalized women and girls living in difficult circumstances who are without any social and economic support.
- Provide emotional support and counseling to search for women.
- Rehabilitate them socially at economically education awareness skill up gradation and personality development through behavioral training etc.
- To arrange for specific clinical legal and other support for women and girls in need of that intervention by linking and networking with other organizations in both government and non-governmental sectors on case to case basis.
- Provide for helpline or otherwise ilities to search women in distress.
- In order to provide shelter to those women who are victims of violence or to those women who are in a difficult situation.
- One such NGO providing shelter to such women is WODWICHEE which functions in two different districts of Assam which is not at all sufficient to curve the women violence issues in the state.
National rural health mission (NHRM):
- The government of Assam through this mission has introduced various schemes for women like Janani Suraksha yojana Mamoni Majoni Mamatha and so on.
- Janani Suraksha Yojana is a scheme to provide safe motherhood intervention with the objective of reducing maternal and neonatal why promoting institutional delivery among the poor pregnant women.
- A beneficiary under the scheme should have a JSY card along with the MCH card.
- There have been almost 22 times an increase in institutional deliveries but improving safe motherhood is still remains a challenge in the state and Assam and still has the highest MMR in the country..
- This scheme is applicable only in the two-child norm family.
- Mamoni scheme is a scheme that encourages pregnant women to undergo three ante-natal check UPS that will help in identifying danger science and offer proper treatment.
- Under this scheme, every pregnant woman will receive a booklet on tips for safe motherhood and for newborn care.
- The same woman will receive an amount of thousand rupees in the second and third antenatal check UPS for expenses related to nutritional and food supplements.
National Bowari scheme:
- The state government launched the scheme.
- This scheme is mainly to discourage marriage among girls before they turn 20 years of age.
- Under this scheme, the women of below poverty line who tied the knot after attaining the age of 20 years will be paid 10000 rupees by the state government.
- The beneficiaries have to produce their marriage certificate or affidavit signed and attached latest by a magistrate to avail the benefit of the scheme.
Baidou and Nabon Schemes:
- To provide empowerment of unemployed single women and widows.
- A one-time financial relief of 10000 rupees will be given to each and married and employed women of 45 years and above below poverty line families.
- One-time financial assistance is provided to unemployed Windows.
- These schemes are launched in the state by the state government to provide assistance in the form of cash there are no data for the beneficiaries of the scheme.
Swarnahayanti gram Swarohgar yojana:
- This scheme is centrally sponsored to provide sustainable income to the rural poor.
- The Program Aims at establishing a large number of micro-enterprises in the rural areas best upon the potential of the rural poor.
- This game is not meant for women only but 40% is reserved for them.
- Therefore in a society where males are dominant women do not get access to it fully.
- This is due to the lack of awareness of information and proper understanding of the scheme.
Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK):
- The scheme is also a centrally sponsored scheme which was launched on 1st June 2011.
- To provide completely free and cashless services to pregnant women including both normal delivery and operations.
- Sick newborn up to 30 days after birth in government health institutions of rural and urban areas.
- It is necessary to develop a positive attitude toward women. while government actions and steps are necessary for removing gender inequalities and justice and for empowering women these can become effective only society attitudes and outlook towards women change.
- The human being rather than taking her as a commodity and primarily as a sex object to a person.
Women Status in Assam
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Women Status in Assam Introduction of Women Status in Assam Different aspects Women Status in Assam Social aspects Marriage Violence Discrimination Economic aspects of Assam women Educational aspects of Assam women Drop out rate Health aspects of Assam women Maternal mortality rate Anaemia deficiency HIV and AIDS Political aspects of Assam women Different governmental schemes provided for women in Assam Conclusion