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Bengal's women empowerment index much better than most Indian states

Bengals women empowerment index much better than most Indian states
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Kolkata: Bengal has shown a significant growth in the field of women empowerment leaving behind Gujarat and many other states, reveals the National Family Health Survey 5 (NFHS) for 2019-20.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on a number of occasions asserted that her government is committed to the welfare and empowerment of women. 'Women are the pillars of our society. They are our pride. From Kanyashree to Rupashree, our Govt in #Bangla is committed to the welfare and empowerment of women. Our Govt in #Bangla is financially empowering rural women through self- help groups,' reads an earlier tweet of the Chief Minister.

The reports say that Bengal has brought in major improvements in the socio-economic conditions of women both in rural and urban areas. The hyperboles and boastful claims made by a section of BJP leaders to portray rosy pictures about the 'Gujarat model' once again fall flat as the Bengal government has overtaken

Gujarat on one of the key parameters of human development index.

The latest HFHS survey said that around 76.5 percent of the total women population in Bengal between the age group 15-49 has bank or savings accounts which they themselves use while in case of Gujarat the number stands at only 70 percent. The number is slightly higher in urban areas as 82.9 percent of the women in urban population have bank accounts and in case of rural areas the number stands at 73.2 percent.

During the NFHS survey in 2015-16, the percentage of women having a bank account out of total population in Bengal remained at 43.5. The situation has much improved in the last 3-4 years with a lot of social schemes by the Mamata Banerjee government bringing fruitful results for the women particularly in the villages.

Clusters have been set up by the MSME and other departments where women are engaged in handicrafts. The state government has also given them a platform to sell their products. It has a crucial role on the economic growth of the areas as well.

Around 83 percent of the total women population in Bengal use hygienic methods of protection during their menstrual period whereas in Gujarat the figure drops at as below as 65.8 percent. In urban areas of Bengal, around 91.2 percent women adopt hygienic methods of protection whereas in rural areas the percentage slightly drops. Around 79.7 percent of women out of the total population maintain hygiene. In the case of Gujarat, around 77.6 percent of the women population in urban areas and 58.6 percent of women in rural areas take hygienic protection.

The study also says that Bengal is ahead of Gujarat in terms of number of women using mobile phones. In Bengal, around 50.1 percent women use mobile phones. The figure is around 71.9 percent in the urban areas and 39.1 in rural areas.

zIn the case of Gujarat, around 48.8 percent women out of the total population use mobile phones.

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