• Recently, the latest data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS 2019-21) has been released.
  • Earlier in 2020, the first-phase data of the NFHS-5 2019-20 was released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which provided data on various issues related to women in india.

Important points:

  • The share of women aged 20-24 who married before turning 18 has declined from 27% to 23% in the last five years.
  • Child marriage is a key determinant of high fertility, poor maternal and child health, and lower social status of women.
  • West Bengal and Bihar, with around 41% such women each, had the highest prevalence of girl child marriage.
  • The maximum reduction in the proportion of underage marriages was observed in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana. v As many as 57% women aged 15-49 were anaemic in 2019-21, compared to 53% in 2015-16, while the same for men rose from 22.7% to 25%.
  • The most formidable increase—8.5% was observed for children aged 6-59 months (67.1%).
  • Among larger states, West Bengal and Kerala reported the highest and lowest prevalence, respectively, of anaemic women.
  • Child anaemia rates worsened the most in Assam, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.
  • All states, except Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam and Jharkhand, had over 90% population with access to improved drinking water sources.
  • Bihar, Jharkhand etc states had almost doubled the access since 2015-16, but most fell below the 75% mark.

Way Forward

The NFHS findings are a reminder of the urgent need to close gaps in girls’ education and address the pathetic nutritional status of women and children.


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