Indicating a positive shift towards women empowerment, the second phase of the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) reported a significant jump 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 India showed that close to 80.9 percent women in urban areas now have a bank account that they use, while this percentage is 77.4 in rural areas. In total, 78.6 percent women have bank accounts in 2019-21 that they use, which is a significant rise since NFHS-4 (2015-16), when 53 percent women were using the facility.
The findings, along with data on women’s role in decision-making, owning a house or land, having mobile phones, using hygienic methods during their menstrual period, offer significant insights into the economic and social status of women in Indian households.
As per the survey result, there was an increase in the number of women owning a house or land -- from 38.4 percent in 2015-16 to 43.3 percent in 2019-21. In the case of women having a mobile phone that they themselves use, the percentage increased from 45.9 to 54.
The survey also covered women aged 15-24 years who use hygienic methods of protection during their menstrual period. The report showed that 77.3 percent women took care of hygiene in 2019-21, up from 57.6 percent in 2015-16.
Also, there was a marginal increase in women participating in household decisions -- from 84 percent in 2015-16 to 88.7 percent in 2019-21. The percentage of women working and getting paid in cash also increased from 24.6 percent in 2015-16 to 25.4 percent in 2019-21.On November 24, the Union health ministry released NFHS-5 (2019-21) results for India and 14 phase-II states and UTs in the form of fact-sheets of key indicators on population, reproductive and child health, family welfare, nutrition and other health-related areas. The findings of NFHS-5 in respect of 22 states and union territories covered in phase-I were released in December 2020.