As per the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) survey, 4 out of 10 women in India still have no say in their marriage, 8 out of 10 need permission to visit a doctor, 6 out of 10 practise some form of head covering and the average Indian household gives over Rs.30,000 in dowry.
Excerpts of the latest data of India Human Development Survey (IHDS) 2011-12
- Sample size: 42,000 households.
- Covers economic data on income and expenditure, development data on education and health, and sociological data on caste, gender and religion.
- Average wedding expense: Groom: Rs 81,952, Bride – Rs 1,26,724.
- Average dowry: Rs.30, 000.
- Marriage: 48% women (over 25) were married before age 18 (as opposed to 60% in 2004-5) and 59% women (over 25) with any say in marriage.
- Around 41% of women still have no say in their marriage.
- Say in marriage: Best states: Tamil Nadu (94%), Assam (90%), AP and Kerala – 86%, Worst States: Rajasthan (20%), UP(24%), MP & Orissa- 29%.
- Mean age at marriage – 17.8.
- Knew their husband before marriage (over 25): 18%.
- Woman practice head/face covering: Highest: Rajasthan – 96%, Bihar – 91%, Haryana & MP – 88%, Lowest: T.N – 6%, AP – 13%, North east – 15%.
- 81% women need permission to visit doctor.
- 60% of women, including 59% of forward caste Hindus and 83% of Muslim women, practice some form of `purdah’ or `ghunghat’.
- Most expensive weddings: Kerala & Delhi.
- The practice of marrying a cousin or relative, more common in the south than the north, is becoming less common, but over 20% in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka still marry relatives.
About India Human Development Survey (IHDS)
- Conducted by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER).
- Largest household survey. (After the government’s Nation Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) surveys.
- NCAER is the only independent body that conducts such large-sample panel surveys.
Outcome of the survey: The data shows that with the growing level of education, urbanization and women empowerment programme the condition of women is slightly improving in the society.