All 14 states surveyed in the second phase of the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) reported a significant increase over the past five years in the number of women with a bank account they use themselves.
Figures for India as a whole show that nearly 80% of women now have a bank account that they use, from 53% in 2015-16 to 78.6% in 2019-21.
The results, along with data on women who own a house or land, and those who own mobile phones, provide important information on the economic and social status of women, and their role in decision-making. in Indian households.
While low tariffs since late 2016 have seen female mobile phone use increase in all states, Haryana and Chandigarh have seen a decline in the proportion of women owning a mobile phone that they used. themselves. In Haryana, for example, at 50.4% in 2020-2021, a lower proportion of women used cell phones, a slight decrease from 50.5% in 2015-16. The Union Territory of Chandigarh has also seen a drop in the percentage of women owning cell phones, from 74.2% in 2015-16 to 70% today.
The figure of female phone use for India as a whole increased from 45.9% in 2015-16 to 54% in 2019-21.
Data shows that among the 14 states except MP, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Delhi NCT and Puducherry, land / house ownership among women has increased.
Punjab and Uttar Pradesh countered the trend seen in large agrarian states of low land ownership among women. In Punjab, for example, among the women surveyed, 63.5% owned a house or land (alone or jointly) in 2020-2021, compared to 32.1% in 2015-16. In Uttar Pradesh, another large agrarian state, the share of women owning land / house increased from 34.2% in 2015-16 to 51.9% in 2020-2021.
But in MP and Rajasthan, the other two major agrarian states, female land / housing ownership has declined or has not shown much improvement. In the MP, 39.9% of women surveyed owned a house or land in 2020-2021, compared to 43.5% in 2015-16. In Rajasthan, the number was 26.6% for 2020-21, a marginal improvement from 24.1% in 2015-16.
When it comes to women with bank accounts they use themselves, there has been a pronounced increase, with MP, Jharkhand, Odisha, Puducherry and Punjab at the top of the list. In the MP, the percentage of women with a bank account rose to 74.7% in 2020-2021 from 37.3% in 2015-16, while in Jharkhand, it rose to 79.6% from 45.1 % in 2013-16, according to the survey.
Bankers and researchers attribute the increase in the use of bank accounts to the role of the account opening campaign under Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana over the past seven years, which has enabled women and households to ‘enter the banking fold.
“The significant increase in the number of women with a bank account (over 80%)… Interestingly, more than half of Jan Dhan accounts were opened by women and even more than half of the employees of the E-Shram portal. recently launched are women, ”said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, group chief economic adviser, SBI.