44.4% K’taka Women, 36.9% in Telangana Face Spousal Violence: NFHS
While more women across states reported being involved in household decisions, not much has changed.
The Union Health Ministry on Saturday, 12 December, released partial data for the fifth edition of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5). A quick look at the four southern states shows an overall improvement in metrics such as drop in domestic violence and women having a better say in household decisions. The data also suggests that states have made an improvement in the adoption of menstrual hygiene products among women.
The phase I covered 6.1 lakh households from 17 states and five union territories, including all southern states except Tamil Nadu.
The fieldwork in 12 states and 2 Union territories was suspended owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to be completed by May 2021.
Here is a quick overview of the NFHS-5 data for women in the four states from south India:
In Andhra Pradesh, about 30% of the 10,975 women surveyed as part of NFHS-5 reported having experienced spousal violence, defined as physical or sexual violence after marriage. The figure is lower compared to the 43.4% reported in the NFHS-4 survey carried out in 2015-16.
The reporting of sexual violence experienced by young women by the age of 18 has also dropped. While NFHS-4 found 6.8% of young women reporting sexual abuse by the time they turn 18, NFHS-5 found 3.7% of young women reporting sexual abuse. The survey classifies women aged 18 to 24 as young women.
About 3.8% of all women surveyed in Andhra Pradesh reported having experienced physical violence during their pregnancy.
Among the 11,346 households surveyed as part of NFHS-5, about 84.1% of women reported they usually participate in household decisions such as healthcare for themselves, major household purchases, and visits to family or relatives.
Menstrual hygiene has also shown improvement, with 85.1% women reporting use of menstrual hygiene products such as napkins, sanitary napkins, tampons and menstrual cups during their period. This is an improvement compared to the NFHS-4 data which reported 67.5% women using menstrual hygiene products.
In NFHS-5, 81.8% of women surveyed in the state reported having a bank account for themselves. Only 66.3% of women had reported having a bank account in the NFHS-4 survey.
In Karnataka, over 44.4% of both rural and urban women surveyed as part of NFHS-5 reported having experienced spousal violence, whereas 20.6% of women had reported abuse in NFHS-4. About 11% of the young women surveyed reported having experienced sexual violence by the age of 18 in NFHS-5. The figures for the 2015-16 survey stood at 10.3%.
About 5.8% of women reported having experienced physical violence during their pregnancy as against 6.5% reported in NFHS-4.
Among the 30,455 women surveyed, 88.7% reported having a bank account as compared to 59.4% in the last survey. About 82.7% of married women said they usually participate in household decisions. The percentage of women owning property has also risen to 61.8% compared to 47.1% in NFHS-4.
The use of menstrual hygienic products among women aged 15 to 24 in Karnataka has increased to 84.2% in NFHS-5, compared to 70.3% in NFHS-4.
Among the 10,969 women surveyed in Kerala, about 9.9% reported having experienced spousal violence in NHS-5 as against 14.3% in the 2015-16 data. The percentage of women facing physical violence during pregnancy has also dropped from 1.2% in NFHS-4 to 0.5% in NFHS-5.
Among the young women surveyed, 1.6% reported experiencing sexual violence by age of 18 in NFHS-5, a drop from 5% reported in NFHS-4.
About 27.3% women reported owning a house or land in NFHS-5, lower than the 34.9% reported as part of NFHS-4. About 94.1% of the women surveyed said they have a say in household decisions, while 78.5% reported having a bank account operated by them.
About 36.9% of all women surveyed in the state reported facing spousal violence, with more rural women reporting violence than urban women. About 5% of the young women surveyed reported having experienced sexual violence by the age of 18.
According to the NFHS-5 data, about 87.2% of women surveyed in the state say they participate in household decisions as compared to 81% women surveyed in NFHS-4.
More rural women, about 5.1%, reported facing physical violence during their pregnancy, whereas 2.1% of their urban counterparts reported the same. A total of 4% of the women surveyed faced physical abuse during pregnancy as compared to 5.9% in NFHS-4.
About 92.1% of all 27,518 women surveyed reported using menstrual hygiene products in NFHS-5 as against 76.6% reported in NFHS-4.
Across the 27,351 Telangana households surveyed in NFHS-5, 84.4% of women reported having a bank account they operate themselves. The survey found more rural women with bank accounts than urban women. In comparison, only 59.5% of women surveyed in NFHS-4 had a bank account.
There is also a rise in the number of women owning a house or land. About 66.6% of women surveyed owned property in NFHS-5 compared to 47.4% in NFHS-4.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)
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