VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh, which boasts of being better than other states when it comes to women’s empowerment and emancipation has performed poorly with regard to women’s development as far as gender indicators are considered, according to Economic Survey 2017-18.As per the report, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu fared worse than expected given their level of development. When compared to other states, Andhra Pradesh in the last 10 years has improved only marginally. It was in the bracket of 55-60 out of 100 (average gender score of Indian States), ten years ago and still continues to be in the same bracket.
Bihar, which was in 50-55 bracket jumped to 55-60, while Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh which were also in 50-55 bracket have moved to 60-65. However, all these states have been marked underperformers. Compared to those states, Andhra Pradesh is lagging behind. The only solace is that AP is better than Delhi.
Assessments were made on three specific dimensions of gender -- women’s ability to make decisions on reproduction, spending on themselves, spending on their household and their own mobility and health, Attitudes about violence against women/wives, and the number of daughters preferred to the number of sons preferred (measured by sex ratio of last child), female employment, choice of contraception, education levels, age at marriage, age at first childbirth and physical or sexual violence experienced by women. A total 17 indicators related to agency, attitude and outcomes were taken into account.
When contacted Women and Child Welfare Commissioner Arun Kumar said he was yet to go through the report. He said there were several variables that are taken into consideration while assessing women’s development. “Our state is faring better in certain aspects and lagging behind in some when compared to other southern states with regard to women’s development and other issues,” he said.