As per Census 2011, India’s population was 121.1 Crore with 48.5% female population and the total population is expected to reach to 152.2 crore during 2036 with a slightly improved percentage of female population (48.8)
In 2011, the sex ratio (number of females per 1000 males) at all India level was 943 and the same for rural and urban areas are 949 and 929 respectively. Sex Ratio at Birth for the country has gone up by 3 points to 907 in 2018-20 from 904 in 2017-19.
The Sex ratio in case of rural areas is expected to increase from 949 in 2011 to 969 in 2036 whereas in urban areas it is expected to hover around 929 with a decline to 926 in 2036. A lower sex ratio in urban areas than rural areas can be attributed to migration of males from rural to urban. The only States/UTs with a favorable sex ratio in 2011 are Kerala and Puducherry
The sex ratio for 0 - 19 age group was 908 while that of 60+ age group was 1033. The sex ratio in the economically active age group (15 - 59 years) was 944. As per Report of the Technical Group on Population Projections for India and States 2011-2036, the sex ratio (females per 1000 males) in 2036 is expected to be more favourable to women compared to the 2011.
Sex ratio in the age group 0 - 6 years has increased in rural from 906 in 2001 to 923 in 2011. However, the ratio has a decline in urban area in the same period.
The mean age at marriage has slightly gone up from 22.1 years in 2017 to 22.7 years in 2020. For rural areas, it has increased from 21.7 years to 22.2 years while in urban areas it has increased from 23.1 to 23.9 years.
As per National Sample Survey (July 2011 - June 2012), 11.5% households in rural areas and 12.4 % households in urban areas are female headed households.
In 2017, highest age fertility rate is recorded for the females belonging to the age group 25- 29 years at 157.1, while the age specific fertility rate stands at 137.1 for the age group of 20- 24 years. It also showed the age specific fertility rate for the age group of 20-24 years had decreased from 174.9 to 137.1 during 2014 to 2017.
The Crude Birth Rate (CBR) in 2017 was 20.2 (Rural - 21.8 and Urban - 16.8) and General Fertility Rate (GFR) of 72.4 at all India level.
Total Fertility Rate (TFR) was 2.3 in 2016 and 2.0 in 2020. In rural areas, TFR has reduced from 2.5 to 2.2 while in urban area it has reduced from 1.8 to 1.6. TFR was high for illiterate women both in rural and urban areas, higher among rural illiterate women and statistics reveal that improvement in educational level lowers the TFR.
The life expectancy has reached 68.4 and 71.1 years for males and females respectively during 2015- 19 and is expected to reach 71.2 and 74.7 years respectively by 2031-36.
India has successfully achieved the major milestone of bringing down its MMR (97/lakh live births in 2018-20
Female IMR had always been higher than that of male but in 2020, both were equal at the level of 28 infants per 1000 live births.
As per the NFHS 2019-21 (NFHS-5), the percentage of women who had at least four AnteNatal Care (ANC) visits during their pregnancy was 58.5 %.
While 62.4 percent of mothers received postnatal care from a doctor/nurse/LHV/ANM/midwife/ other health personnel within 2 days of delivery in 2015-16, the percent rose to 78 during 2019-21.
While in 2015-16, 78.9 percent of deliveries took place in health institutions and among the births that took place in home, 4.3 percent were attended by skilled health personnel, in 2019-21, the figures on the same parameters were 88.6 percent and 3.2 percent respectively
During 2015-16, 53.2 percent of non-pregnant women aged 15-49 years were anaemic which increased to 57.2 percent during 2019-21. Among pregnant women aged 15-49 years, 50.4 percent were anaemic during 2015-16 which rose to 52.2 percent during 2019-21.
As per NFHS-5, female sterilization remains the most popular modern contraceptive method. Among currently married women age 15-49, 37.9 percent use female sterilization, followed by male condoms (9.5%) and pills (5.1%).
As per NFHS-5, during 2019-21, 38 percent of males and 8.9 percent of females above the age of 15 years used tobacco.
As per the NFHS -5, 22.9% of males and 24% of females in the age group 15-49 years were found to be obese.
As per NSS 75th round (July 2017- June 2018) on Household social consumption on Health, the percentage of persons that reported as ailing (PPRA) in last 15-days period is 13.5% (Female) and 10.1% (Male) in urban areas, while the same percentage is 9.9% (Female) & 8.0% (Male) in rural areas.
Literacy and Education
As per Census 2011, the literacy rate at all India level was 72.98% and the literacy rate for females and males are 64.63% and 80.9% respectively. During the last decade, the highest improvement in literacy rate was observed for rural females (24%).
At primary level, GER was recorded at 103.4 in 2021-22 which indicates that India, in principle, is able to accommodate all of its primary school-age population, but does not necessarily mean universal primary education.
GER of female child has always been higher than that of male child at primary level from 2012-13 onwards. A decreasing trend can be seen in GER as we move to higher levels of education viz. Upper primary, secondary and higher secondary in case of both males as well as females. Female GER at higher secondary level was 58.2 in 2021-22 (39.4 in 2012-13). Further, there is not much difference in GER of male and female population at higher education level. At this level, during 2020-21, GER of female was recorded at 27.9 which was slightly more than male GER of 26.7
The percentage of Male population of age 25 years and above with at least secondary education successfully completed increased from 58.7 in 2019-20 to 60.0 in 2020-21
As per NSS 75th Round (July, 2017- June, 18), only 8.3% of the females of age 15 years & above by highest level of education have successfully completed graduation and above level of courses. While 12.8 % of males of age 15 years and above by highest level of education, have successfully completed graduation and above level of courses.
As per NSS 75th Round (July, 2017- June, 18), only 4.5 % males and 3.1 % females are pursuing technical/professional courses. In urban, 8.3 % of male and 6.3 % females are pursuing technical/professional courses.
The number of females per 100 males in University education in major disciplines was highest in Medicine (157.1), followed by Arts and Social Sciences (111.6), Science (89.1), commerce (85.9) and Engineering & technical (38.7).
From 2012-13 to 2021-22, number of female teachers per 100 male teachers at primary level increased from 100 to 126. At higher levels also, a similar trend was seen. However, representation of female in tertiary education teachers is quite low at 41 % as per 2020-21 data
Participation in Economy
Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) results indicate that the worker population ratio for females in rural sector was 17.5 and 51.7 for males in 2017-18. In Urban sector, the ratio is 14.2 for females and 53.0 for males. In both rural and urban areas, WPRs for females were considerably lower than WPRs for males.
It needs to be highlighted that unemployment rate is the maximum for urban females in the 15-29 years’ age group followed by urban males in that age group
Labour Force Participation Rate - LFPR of the persons aged 15 years and above has been increasing from 2017-18 onwards for both male and female population. However, LFPR of female population is far behind than that of male population in the age group of 15 years and above (77.2 for males and 32.8 for females in 2021-22) and the disparity has remained almost the same over the years
In 2021-2022, Worker Population Ratio (WPR) was 54.7 in rural area and 55.0 in urban area for male population but 26.6 & 17.3 respectively for female population.
Average wage/salary earnings received by female workers of regular wage/salary employees is still lagging behind the average earnings received by male workers in both rural and urban areas. Similar trend was also observed in average earnings received per day by casual labourers engaged in works other than public works.
At All-India level, male population of age 6 years and above spent 67 minutes in unpaid activities, 240 minutes in paid activities and 1133 minutes in residual other activities (self-development/ self-care/ self-maintenance etc.) while female population spent 305 minutes in unpaid activities, 56 minutes in paid activities and 1079 minutes in residual other activities.
As per the data of Basic Statistical Returns of Scheduled Commercial Banks in India, in rural area 37.03 percent of the bank accounts are held by female population while in SemiUrban, Urban and Metropolitan areas, the percentage is around 34%. However, the proportion of amount held therein is greater in case of metropolitan females at 32.77% than that of female population of other areas.
As per data of Periodic Labour Force Survey, among the officials working at managerial positions in India, 18.8% were women in 2020 and 18.1% in 2021
Participation in Decision Making
The percentage of women representation in Central Council of Ministers has decreased from 17.8 % in 2015 to 10.5 % in 2019. The current percentage is 14.5
There were 437.8 million women electors in Seventeenth Lok Sabha Election (2019) which had increased from 397.0 million in sixteenth Lok Sabha Elections (2014).
In the 17th Lok Sabha, 14% of the total members are women (78 out of total seats).
More women turned out to vote in 2014 as compared to earlier elections, the participation being 65.6% in 2014 which further rose to 67.2% in 2019.
At all India level, the women participation in the State Assemblies was 11% against the total elected representatives in the State Assemblies.
Pertaining to the year 2022, in Supreme court of India, out of 29 judges sitting in the office, only 3 are women. In high courts also, only 13% of the judges are women.
In March 2018, at all India level 44.37% of the elected representatives in Panchayati Raj Institutions are women.
Percentage of Female Police Officers in India is a meagre 7.02.
Social Obstacles in Women’s Empowerment
On examination of the data for the years 2016 to 2021 it can be observed that three major crimes viz. Cruelty by Husband and Relatives, Assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty and Kidnapping & Abduction constituted more than 70% of the total crime committed against women with the rate of Cruelty by Husband and Relatives faced by women in their own house accounting for one-third of all crimes.
One-third of the women in the country are facing violence from their husband. Percentage of ever married women age 18-49 years who have ever experienced emotional, physical or sexual violence committed by their husband, however, has slightly decreased from 33.3% in 2015-16 to 31.9% in 2019-21 but it is still quite hig.
As per the latest data published by NCRB, 68% of the total cases for investigation were disposed by the police
As per NFHS, the percentage of women aged 20-24 years married before age 18 years has decreased from 26.8 in 2015-16 to 23.3% in 2019-21. Prevalence of child marriage is more than 40% in Bihar, Tripura and West Bengal and between 30 to 40 percent in Assam and Jharkhand.
From 2004 to 2011, the ratio of male to female suicide incidence remained constant at 1.8 but from 2012 onwards, it started rising and reached at 2.6 in 2021.
As per the NSS 76th survey, percentage of differently abled person was 1.9% for females and 2.4%for males.