Amidst growing concern about gender-based violence, a report released by Plan India indicates that Goa is the safest place for women in the country.
The Gender Vulnerability Index report was done as part of the NGO’s Plan for Every Child campaign. The report analysed the situation of girls and women, taking into consideration over 170 indicators before arriving at the index.
The index was prepared on the basis of four broad dimensions -- Health, Education, Protection and Poverty.
To calculate Health, the report aimed to identify states with systemic inadequacies, evaluate whether women are partaking in health-promoting behaviours to gauge how informed they are about their well-being and health.
The top three spots for Health are occupied by Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sikkim respectively.
Karnataka and AP are at rank 4 and 5 respectively while Telangana is a distant 20.
In terms of Education, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerala rank 6, 7 and 8 respectively, with the top spot being taken by Himachal Pradesh with a score of 0.693. AP ranks 11 and TN ranks 22.
As per the report, the Education index wasn’t just done on enrollment, but also retention, infrastructure and quality.
“As enrollment and retention are necessary preconditions to allow women to achieve equality in education, their livelihoods, and ultimately in all spheres of life, we regard it with the significance that it warrants by including indicators which measure inequality in access,” the report says.
For Poverty, the indicators include assets owned, economic participation of women and their access to information.
In this aspect, Manipur, Mizoram and Tamil Nadu are at the top three positions. Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka occupy 4th, 5th and 7th positions respectively. Kerala ranks at 12.
To understand the state of safety of women, the GVI analysed 26 indicators.
None of the five southern states is in the top 5. Kerala is at rank 10, followed by Tamil Nadu at 12. Karnataka is at 17 while AP and Telangana are at 20 and 26 respectively.
Commenting on Karnataka, the report says: "Karnataka, for instance, ranks among the best in all other dimensions. But, the highest proportion of girls and women in the country who have ever experienced violence during a pregnancy are in Karnataka. The mortality rate for children under five also suffers from the same incongruity, we are miles from reaching the ideal."
Andhra Pradesh is listed as among the 'Poor Performing States' when it comes to the GVI's protection dimensions.
The report was released by Plan India during its national conference in New Delhi. Many government officials, including Aastha Saxena Khatwani, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, and Anna Roy, Advisor, NITI Aayog, were present on the occasion.