Inflation may be high. Women’s literacy and mobility may have gone up. But the 2011 census figures show that hardly 20 per cent of women in the urban areas of the state are working.
The census says less than a quarter of the women living in Bangalore Urban district are employed.
According to the census, hardly 24.6 per cent of Bangalore’s female population is working, despite the city being home to the IT/ITES sector, which is known to hire a large number of women employees.
Further, the census figures say that the overall percentage of working women in Karnataka has come down over the last 10 years.
In 2001, the percentage of the number of women versus the number of working women was 31.98. In 2011, this has declined to 31.87, which is 0.1 per cent less.
“The decrease may not be in absolute numbers. But the ratio shows that there has been a decrease,’’ T K Anil Kumar, director, Census Operations, informed Express.
The census also says that the decrease in the number of working women is largely in the rural areas, where it has fallen from 39.87 per cent in 2001 to 38.79 per cent.
This despite the fact that due to three years of drought, more women have had to do manual and domestic labour in the rural areas.
“The ratio of working women to the population cannot go down at all, considering the economic situation of the country. Just a cursory glance will tell you there are more women working today. The problem with these figures is the definition of who is a working woman. They all look at it in terms of productivity and tend to leave out unorganised workers, anganwadi workers, service sector workers and so on,’’ social activist Geeta Menon told Express.
The census officially defines the worker as: “Any person who has participated in an economically productive activity with or without compensation or profit.’’
Census sources said there might have been some oversight on this issue. “Some women may have been left out because of the kind of work they do,’’ a source said.
Sex ratio in the state has improved in both rural and urban areas. However, Bangalore has the lowest sex ratio in the state with only 916 women for 1,000 men, followed by Bangalore rural and Haveri.
Udupi has the highest sex ratio in the state with 1,094 women per 1,000 men followed by Dakshina Kannada (1,020) and Kodagu (1,019). These districts are however seeing a deciline in the sex ratio compared to the census data of 2001. In Udupi, the sex ratio reduced from 1,130 to 1,094 and in Dakshin Kannada from 1,022 to 1,020.
There has also been a decrease in the child population ratio (0-6 years) in the state. In 2001, there were 71,82,100 children under age 6, while this has reduced to 71,61,033. Children constitute 11.72 per cent of the total population of the state.
However, the census findings also indicate that there has been an improvement in the child sex ratio - from 946 per 1,000 men in 2001 to 948 of 1,000 men in 2011. The census also notes that there is a perceptible decline in the child sex ratio (0-6 years) in Raichur, Chamarajnagar and Haveri. The bottom three districts with a low child sex ratio are Bijapur, Belgaum and Bagalkot. The census revealed that there was a steady decrease in in gender gap in literacy rate but in Raichur and Yadgir, the female illiterates outnumber the female literates. Yadgir has recorded the lowest literacy rate of 51.83 percent. State sees 15 per cent decadal growth rate, Bangalore 47 per cent The enumeration was held in 2011 and pegs the State’s population at 6,10,95,297 and the percentage of growth at 15.6 per cent. Bangalore is the most populated district with a population of 96,21,551 followed by Belgaum (47,79,661) and Mysore (30,01,127).
Bangalore saw the highest decadal population growth at a whopping 47.18 percent. The magnitude of growth can be understood in the light of the fact that Yadgir, which saw the second highest decadal growth percentage saw 22.81 per cent growth, about half of what Bangalore city saw.
The increase in population in Bangalore also means that the city is the most crowded with 4,381 people per sq km. Bangalore is the most densely populated district followed by Mysore with 476 people per sq km.