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A Refereed Monthly International Journal of Management Indexed With Web of Science(ESCI)
ISSN: 0974-438X
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RNI No.:RAJENG/2016/70346
Postal Reg. No.: RJ/UD/29-136/2017-2019
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Prof. Mahima Birla
(Editor in Chief)

Dr. Khushbu Agarwal
(Editor)

Dr. Asha Galundia
(Circulation Manager)

Editorial Team

A Refereed Monthly International Journal of Management

Economic Empowerment of Women through Literacy in India

 

Dr. Amit Kundu

Professor

School of Management, Techno India Group

Kolkata

 

           

Arabinda Bhattacharya

Former Associate Professor

Department of Business Management

University of Calcutta,

Kolkata, West Bengal India
Abstract

Most interventions promoting women’s empowerment has identified the economic independence and economic stability as one of the most important dimensions of women empowerment. There are of course other documents which show that the only economic power fails to ensure the process of empowering the women. But this phenomenon would only be a temporary one.   There are many studies which deal with the relationship between the economic empowerment of women and their well-being. The economic stability of women determines the level of autonomy the women enjoy in the society and also it protects them from many odds in the real world. Domestic violence is one. It is shown that women with strong economic support are not prone to domestic violence. Moreover, with their economic strength, they take care of the welfare of the whole family. The objective of the present research is to examine the strength of relationship between the Relative Literacy Rate (RLR) and the Relative Economic Empowerment of Women (REEW). In fact, a functional relationship between Relative Economic Empowerment of Women (REEW) and relative literacy rate (RLR) will be estimated in order to check the extent of influence of RLR on REEW in both rural and urban segments of the states of India.  The results establish a strong relationship between RLR and REEW in both the cases, rural as well as urban and the sensitivity of RLR on economic empowerment differs among the states both rural and urban sector.

Keywords: Women’s empowerment, Relative Economic Empowerment of Women, Relative Literacy Rate, India

Background of the study

Women’s empowerment may be defined as the entirety of women’s’ access to and control over resources, which encompasses their decision-making capabilities about household decisions, employment, income, household assets and expenditure, fertility, sexuality, and freedom of movement (physical mobility); and also their decisive power over material and intangible resources such as property, information and time; their status within the household vis-à-vis other male and female household members; their freedom from domestic violence; and their rights to education, health and well-being  (Gurumurthy 1998; Dyson and Moore 1983). Empowering women is a multidimensional process with economic, socio-cultural, familial, legal, political and psychological dimensions (Malhotra, Schuler, & Boender, 2002; Mahmud, Shah, & Becker, 2012). However, most interventions targeted at   empowering women are centred on the economic dimension (e.g. access to credit, ownership of productive resources and paid work; UNDP, 2011; World Bank, 2011). It is taken for granted that economic disparity is the cause of wider inequalities (Bradshaw, 2013), and that if the economic condition improves, automatic all-round improvement in all dimensions will be achieved (Malhotra et al., 2002). In earlier research studies on women empowerment, it is shown that one of the most important dimensions of women empowerment has become the economic independence and economic stability. There are many studies which deal with the relationship between the economic empowerment of women and their well-being. The economic stability of women determines the level of autonomy the women enjoy in the society and also it protects them from many odds in the real world. Domestic violence is one. It is shown that women with strong economic support are not prone to domestic violence. Moreover, they with their economic strength take care of the welfare of the whole family.

Research Objectives

With this in the background, it would be interesting to analyze the relative empowerment of women vis-à-vis that of men. In this paper, it is our endeavor to examine some aspects of relative women empowerment considering only the economic parameter like average salary/wages of men and women in a segment. In this paper, the analysis is based on this measure of relative women empowerment.

An attempt has been made in the present study to understand the level of empowerment of women in India and also the justification of the same has been made.

The objectives of this paper are:

  1. To ascertain the status of the Indian States in terms of the Relative Economic Empowerment (REEW) and also to identify the states with lower level of REEW   and also with the higher level.
  2. To examine the levels of REEW associated with the sector of work and also with the level of literacy. Also to show whether there has been any difference in REEW across the demographic sectors like rural and urban.
  3. To analyze the strength of relationship between the Relative Literacy Rate (RLR) and the Relative Economic Empowerment of Women (REEW). In fact, a functional relationship between Relative Economic Empowerment of Women (REEW) and relative literacy rate (RLR) will be estimated in order to check the extent of influence of RLR on REEW across   various segmentation of the states of India. 

Methodology

Measurement of women empowerment

Step 1: Development of relative empowerment index 

This analysis has been done on the basis of a measure indicating the level of relative economic empowerment of women (REEW). The suggested measure (REEW) is as follow:

REEW=  x 100

If REEW ˂ 100, it implies that women empowerment is relative lower than that of men.

Step 2:  Development of the model

It can be conjectured that the relative literacy rate (RLR) has significantly positive impact on the Relative Economic Empowerment of Women (REEW)

RLR = f (REEW)  

The model considered in this paper is as follows:

 

 Data sets used in this research paper have been 1) National Sample Survey Office, 68th round (July 2011 – June 2012) and 2) Census 2011.


Findings of the Study

The state-wise empowerment index of women based on REEW across rural and urban of all the states of India are estimated (ref table 1) to have understanding the status of each state on the economic empowerment issues of women. The results reveal that economic empowerment of women are more pronounced in the urban region in comparison to the rural in most cases.

Table 1: State-wise Women Empowerment Index for  Rural and Urban

States

                                   Women Empowerment Index

Rural

Urban

A & N ISLAND

82.05

118.33

ANDHRA PRADESH

89.55

57.10

ARUNACHAL PRADESH

70.60

89.19

ASSAM

52.25

91.29

BIHAR

41.83

88.47

CHANDIGARH

61.11

115.15

CHHATTISGARH

60.93

71.69

DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI

82.51

120.39

DAMAN & DIU

94.89

92.03

GOA

68.73

94.98

GUJARAT

64.43

83.31

HARYANA

90.15

78.38

HIMACHAL PRADESH

57.67

71.96

JAMMU & KASHMIR

49.03

97.41

JHARKHAND

57.09

65.89

KARNATAKA

63.93

75.59

KERALA

65.26

79.35

LAKSHADWEEP

39.74

85.65

MADHYA PRADESH

40.07

69.74

MAHARASHTRA

83.10

71.69

MANIPUR

88.28

97.05

MEGHALAYA

80.33

84.23

MIZORAM

90.97

71.80

NAGALAND

90.01

70.00

ORISSA

91.00

62.58

PUDUCHERRY

39.87

54.70

PUNJAB

52.05

113.27

RAJASTHAN

54.12

98.98

SIKKIM

95.47

77.42

TAMIL NADU

68.17

70.74

TRIPURA

68.43

73.60

UTTAR PRADESH

57.76

76.13

UTTARAKHAND

85.77

99.60

WEST BENGAL

40.28

71.17

Note: Calculations are made by the author using the data set on Average per day wage / salary earnings of regular wage / salaried employees of age  15 – 59  years by industry of work and broad education category : 2011 – 2012  supplied by National Sample Survey office,  68th  round ( July 2011 – June 2012)

 

The states ranked on the basis of relative economic empowerment of women (REEW) in the category of rural and urban regions and the results are listed in the table 2 and table 3 respectively. North eastern states of India have received high rank both in the rural and urban region and the results are quite justified as women participate in all walks of life in those states.  

Table 2: Ordered state-wise Relative Economic Empowerment  of  Women ( REEW ) Index in rural sector. 

States

REEW ( Rural)

Rank

LAKSHADWEEP

39.74

34

PUDUCHERRY

39.87

33

MADHYA PRADESH

40.07

32

WEST BENGAL

40.28

31

BIHAR

41.83

30

JAMMU & KASHMIR

49.03

29

PUNJAB

52.05

28

ASSAM

52.25

27

RAJASTHAN

54.12

26

JHARKHAND

57.09

25

HIMACHAL PRADESH

57.67

24

UTTAR PRADESH

57.76

23

CHHATTISGARH

60.93

22

CHANDIGARH

61.11

21

KARNATAKA

63.93

20

GUJARAT

64.43

19

KERALA

65.26

18

TAMIL NADU

68.17

17

TRIPURA

68.43

16

GOA

68.73

15

ARUNACHAL  PRADESH

70.60

14

MEGHALAYA

80.33

13

A & N ISLAND

82.05

12

DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI

82.51

11

MAHARASHTRA

83.10

10

UTTARAKHND

85.77

9

MANIPUR

88.28

8

ANDHRA PRADESH

89.55

7

NAGALAND

90.01

6

HARYANA

90.15

5

MIZORAM

90.97

4

ORISSA

91.00

3

DAMAN & DIU

94.89

2

SIKKIM

95.47

1

Note: Calculations are made by the author using the data set on Average per day wage / salary earnings of regular wage / salaried employees of age  15 – 59  years by industry of work and broad education category : 2011 – 2012  supplied by National Sample Survey office,  68th  round ( July 2011 – June 2012).

 

From the above table, is found that Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar are some of the states where REEW turn out to be at the bottom whereas Nagaland, Haryana, Mizoram, Orissa, Daman & Diu, Sikkim indicate relatively higher REEW in the Rural sector.

 

Table 3: Ordered state-wise Relative Economic Empowerment  of  Women ( REEW ) Index in  Urban  sector. 

States

Women Empowerment Index

Rank

PUDUCHERRY

54.70

34

ANDHRA PRADESH

57.10

33

ORISSA

62.58

32

JHARKHAND

65.89

31

MADHYA PRADESH

69.74

30

NAGALAND

70.00

29

TAMIL NADU

70.74

28

WEST BENGAL

71.17

27

MAHARASHTRA

71.69

26

CHHATTISGARH

71.69

25

MIZORAM

71.80

24

HIMACHAL  PRADESH

71.96

23

TRIPURA

73.60

22

KARNATAKA

75.59

21

UTTAR PRADESH

76.13

20

SIKKIM

77.42

19

HARYANA

78.38

18

KERALA

79.35

17

GUJARAT

83.31

16

MEGHALAYA

84.23

15

LAKSHADWEEP

85.65

14

BIHAR

88.47

13

ARUNACHAL  PRADESH

89.19

12

ASSAM

91.29

11

DAMAN & DIU

92.03

10

GOA

94.98

9

MANIPUR

97.05

8

JAMMU &  KASHMIR

97.41

7

RAJASTHAN

98.98

6

UTTARAKHAND

99.60

5

PUNJAB

113.27

4

CHANDIGARH

115.15

3

A & N ISLAND

118.33

2

DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI

120.39

1

Note: Calculations are made by the author using the data set on Average per day wage / salary earnings of regular wage / salaried employees of age  15 – 59  years by industry of work and broad education category : 2011 – 2012  supplied by National Sample Survey office,  68th  round ( July 2011 – June 2012).

 

In case of Urban sector, States which are identified as the states having low value of REEW are Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh etc.. Uttarakhand, Punjab, Chandigarh, Andaman & Nicobar Island , Dadra & Nagar Haveli etc. ensured higher value of  REEW. It is very interesting to note that in Punjab, Chandigarh, A & N Island and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Island, Empowerment of Women is more than that of Men.  

Estimation has also been made to measure the economic empowerment of women on the basis of the level of literacy across the sector considering both rural and urban region. In the manufacturing, service and trade sector, the economic empowerment was observed maximum for the women having technical qualification and graduate degrees.

Table 4 : Extent of  REEW  by industry of work and broad education category.

Sector of

work

Demographic Sector

                               Level of literacy

Not literate

Literate & upto middle

Secondary & Higher Secondary

Diploma/

Certificate

Graduate

& above

All

Agriculture

Rural

68.63

75.09

127.87*

NA

52.01

59.97

Urban

68.42

84.56*

45.71

NA

51.66

36.60

Mining &

Quarrying

Rural

90.31

91.12*

14.46

11.56

12.24

44.12

Urban

84.74*

46.40

50.09

NA

32.40

49.44

Manufacturing1

Rural

67.01

79.15

59.93

86.06*

79.48

66.45

Urban

69.60

63.95

56.56

71.72*

58.93

57.56

Manufacturing2

Rural

50.87

57.04

64.81

96.68*

29.83

49.44

Urban

62.38

47.50

54.39

50.64

69.80*

61.13

Electricity, Gas &Water

Rural

136.45*

25.07

101.41

76.90

74.47

53.61

Urban

61.02

133.29*

70.18

60.72

98.55

101.41

Construction

Rural

62.95

78.56

94.86

205.86*

15.78

115.50

Urban

44.93

115.97*

299.08

51.37

72.64

67.02

Trade

Rural

43.02

60.15

62.91

64.39

126.04*

80.09

Urban

93.24

90.57

88.59

149.77*

65.24

90.86

Transport & Storage etc.

Rural

143.03*

134.35

115.19

NA

38.78

125.61

Urban

57.04

113.61

93.90

184.56*

76.53

102.54

Services

Rural

38.05

36.90

43.69

76.99*

67.19

52.74

Urban

56.71

49.61

85.92*

73.88

77.03

76.07

Private hhs. With emp. persons

Rural

39.38*

36.64

33.08

NA

NA

38.26

Urban

60.93

44.85

76.35*

28.46

50.78

48.59

Other

Rural

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Urban

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

All

Rural

51.22

51.50

56.34

95.19*

68.67

62.54

Urban

59.44

55.98

85.62*

74.65

75.69

77.93

* indicates the Maximum REEW

Note: Calculations are made by the author using the data set on Average per day wage / salary earnings of regular wage / salaried employees of age  15 – 59  years by industry of work and broad education category : 2011 – 2012  supplied by National Sample Survey office,  68th  round ( July 2011 – June 2012).

 

Relatively higher value of REEW is found at the Diploma / Certificate level of literacy in Manufacturing 1, Manufacturing 2, Construction, Trade Transport & Storage etc., and Services sectors. In Transport & Storage sector Women seem to be more empowered than Men.

 

 

Development of the Model and Analysis

The model development stage and analysis section is comprised of several steps:

Step I: It is concerned with the identification of the segmentation of Indian states.

Step II: Here it is examined that the segmentation made are really distinct in respect of different parameters.

Step III: In this step, an estimation of functional relationship between REEW and RLR is made and estimation of the relationship will be done for each of the segmentation.

Step I

The dependent variable REEW is plotted against RLR in the two dimensional space by the scatter diagram for the both rural and urban segment (Figure I & II).  The scatter diagram can not establish any relationship between the dependent variable and the discriminant scores. 

 

Figure I Mapping of the states in rural segment in respect of REEW and RLR

Figure II Mapping of the states in urban segment in respect of REEW and RLR

Note: Numbers in the both the figures correspond the states

 

From the scatter diagrams, it is clear that there are outliers in both the figures. The outliers generally reveal the combinations of either low RLR with very high REEW or very high RLR with low REEW. After having excluding the outliers, the two scatter diagrams seem to be quite heterogeneous in respect of the relationship between REEW and RLR. Subjectively we have divided the scatter diagram into two parts making both parts relatively more homogeneous within themselves in respect of relationship that we have talked about earlier.

The following table (Table I) shows segmentations of states of India on the basis of graphical presentation of relationship between the women empowerment reflected in the relative bargaining power in respect of salary/wages and   relative literacy rate. These segmentations are done on subjective basis.

 

Table 1 Four Groups considering Rural and Urban Segment of the States of India  

Groups

              Cluster of States  

Rural

 Group 1

A&NIS, Assam, Chandigarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh,   Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Punjab, Tripura, West Bengal

Rural

Group 2

Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh,Bihar, Chattisgarh, Daman & Diu, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur,

Odisha, Sikkim, Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand

Urban Group 1

A&NIS, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chattisgarh, Dadra Nagar haveli ,Daman & Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand

Urban Group 2

Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Himachal, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadip, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Odisha, Puducherry, Sikkim, Tamilnadu, Tripura, West Bengal

 

Step II

The table 2 is constructed to check the difference in respect of male rural literacy rate, female rural literacy rate, average wage/ salary per day for male rural, average wage/salary per day for female rural for rural segment. 

Table 2 Difference in respect of parameters between two groups in rural segment 

From table 2 it is very interesting to note that literacy rate in group 1 is higher than group 2 and average wage/ salary per day is also high group 1.

The table 3 is constructed considering the same set of parameters for urban segment to check the difference between the two groups. 

 

Table 3 Difference in respect of parameters between two groups in urban segment 

From table 3 it is clear that group 1 is lagging behind group 2 in respect of literacy rate but average wage/ salary per day for group 1 is more than that of group 2.

Step III

Now, REEW is regressed on RLR for each group of rural and urban segment and the mathematical model has been developed separately for four cases based on the following generalized methodology.

REEW =  (RLR) ………..(1)

=Co-efficient associated with independent variable RLR and it also indicates the level of importance of RLR towards the relative economic empowerment of women (REEW)

Case I-Group I (Rural Segment)

Regression analysis has been performed to analyze associative relationship between a dependent variable REEW and RLR for group 1 of rural segment (Ref Table 4 &5). 

Table 4 Output of Regression Analysis for Group I (Rural Segment)

 

Table 5  Level of significance of RLR

Coefficients

a,b

-2.540

.712

-3.567

.005

3.675

.819

.818

4.489

.001

(Constant)

Relative literacy rate rural   

Model

1

B

Std. Error

Unstandardized

Coefficients

Beta

Standardi

zed

Coefficien

ts

t

Sig.

Dependent Variable: Relative average salary/wage rural : Women Empowerment Index  ( REEW)

Rural in the context of Employment Market

a.

Selecting only cases for which Group for rural =  1.00

b.

High values of adjusted R square (0.635) indicate that the model fit the data very well (ref. table 4). The coefficient that is associated with RLR is statistically significant [significance at the 1% level].

Case II -Group II (Rural Segment)

Regression analysis has been performed to find the extent of relationship between a dependent variable REEW and RLR for group 2 of rural segment (Ref Table 6 &7). 

Table 6 Output of Regression Analysis for Group II (Rural Segment)

Table 7 Level of significance of RLR

Coefficients

a,b

-1.248

.482

-2.588

.020

2.610

.639

.714

4.085

.001

(Constant)

Relative literacy rate rural

Model

1

B

Std. Error

Unstandardized

Coefficients

Beta

Standardi

zed

Coefficien

ts

t

Sig.

Dependent Variable: Relative average salary/wage rural : Women Empowerment Index ( REEW)

Rural in the context of Employment Market

a.

Selecting only cases for which Group for rural =  2.00

b.

Results show that adjusted R- value stands good for association between variables and R Square value indicates that relative literacy rate can explain the relative economic empowerment of women (REEW) at about 48 % level in the case of the states of group 2 of rural segment(Ref table 6). The coefficient that is associated with relative literacy rate (RLR) is highly statistically significant (Ref table 7).

Case III-Group I (Urban Segment)

Regression analysis has been performed to analyze associative relationship between a dependent variable REEW and RLR for group 1 of urban segment (Ref Table 8 &9). 

Table 8 Output of Regression Analysis for Group I (Urban Segment)

Table 9 Level of significance of RLR

Coefficients

a,b

-4.503

1.048

-4.297

.001

6.142

1.186

.811

5.177

.000

(Constant)

Relative literacy

rate urban

Model

1

B

Std. Error

Unstandardized

Coefficients

Beta

Standardi

zed

Coefficien

ts

t

Sig.

Dependent Variable: Relative average salary/wage urban: Women Empowerment

 (REEW) Index Urban in the context of Employment Market

a.

Selecting only cases for which Group for urban =  1.00

b.

 

 High values of adjusted R square (0.632) indicate that the model fit the data very well (ref table 8). The coefficient that is associated with RLR is statistically insignificant [significance at the 1% level].


Case IV -Group II (Urban Segment)

Regression analysis has been performed to find the extent of relationship between a dependent variable REEW and RLR for group 2 of urban segment (Ref Table 10 &11). 

Table 10 Output of Regression Analysis for Group II (Urban Segment)

Table 11 Level of significance of RLR

Coefficients

a,b

-1.348

.747

-1.804

.096

2.264

.812

.627

2.787

.016

(Constant)

Relative literacy

rate urban

Model

1

B

Std. Error

Unstandardized

Coefficients

Beta

Standardi

zed

Coefficien

ts

t

Sig.

Dependent Variable: Relative average salary/wage urban: Women Empowerment

( REEW) Index Urban in the context of Employment Market

a.

Selecting only cases for which Group for urban =  2.00

b.

 

Results show that adjusted R- value stands good for association between variables and the value indicates that relative literacy rate can explain 34.2 % of the relative economic empowerment of women (REEW) in the case of the states of group 2 of urban segment(Ref table 10). The coefficient that is associated with relative literacy rate (RLR) is highly statistically significant (Ref table 11).

Conclusions

In the present study, relative economic empowerment of women (REEW) is taken as the construct of women empowerment and relative literacy rate (RLR) is taken as the contributing dimensions for the economic development of women in the context of rural and urban segment of the states of India. The results reveal that RLR has positive impact on REEW in both the cases, rural as well as urban. We therefore conclude that the findings of our study—in spite of several restrictions—can be seen as new empirical evidences indicating that state interventions focused on the improvement of women literacy rate would lead to economic empowerment of women in respect to men both in the rural and urban sector of India. It is also interesting outcomes of our study that the dimension, RLR is more sensitive in the states belong to the group 1 of both rural and urban segment towards economic empowerment of women. It is evidenced that the states belonging to the group1 in both rural and urban segment may generate more job opportunities for the women in comparison to the others for the literate and skilled women. We would thus argue that, for promoting women’s empowerment in the study area, a broad package of interventions will be needed in order to achieve improvement in all dimensions.

 

Limitations of the Present Study

 

This research is based on a macro level data set. Therefore, the conclusion may not be valid for a particular sector of work in a particular state for a community having a particular level of literacy. But this research helps the researchers formulate the research hypotheses regarding the level of Relative  Economic Empowerment of Women ( REEW ) for a particular community with clearly defined its demographic mapping in all aspects. Since there is no availability of  micro level data set in this regard , researchers may have to design a clearly defined sample survey. Moreover, there might be some types of work which   are gender specific. In that case, REEW may not be estimated at all, since there is no comparable data on men or women in regard to the average salary / wage for that particular group.   

 

References

 

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