Census 2011 has both good and bad news for women in Delhi.
According to the findings, released Tuesday, only one in 10 women in the Capital are employed. Also, fewer women are having children, indicating a decline in fertility rate.
On the flipside, the city’s sex ratio is the best since 1901. And even if few women work, their overall condition has improved in the last decade.
The city has 78 lakh women but only 10.58% of them are employed — way below the national average of 25.5%. Even Jharkhand (29.1%) and Bihar (19.1%) — perceived as backward in comparison — have a healthier women’s workforce, though they also have bigger overall populations than Delhi’s (1.67 crore).
In contrast, 52.99% out of the Capital’s 89 lakh men are employed. At 5.2%, northeast Delhi’s Seelampur has the lowest female work participation ratio.
Total fertility rate - the average number of children born to a woman over her lifetime - has declined from 2.2 in 1999 to 1.8 in 2011.
The figures also reveal an improved sex ratio of 868 women to 1,000 men in 2011 compared to 821:1,000 in 2001.
“There are more women living in Delhi than before. This is the best we have seen in more than 100 years. The last time such a healthy sex ratio was reported was in 1901 (862:1,000). It has consistently declined since then,” said Varsha Joshi, director of Census Operations, Delhi.
Explaining the low women’s workforce, Madhu Kishwar of Manushi, a forum for women’s rights and democratic reforms, said: “Many families consider a working woman as an indication that the husband is not earning enough. Violence against women is also a big deterrent and is highest among those from the lower strata of society.”