Women & gender equity are the central issues of all our developmental programs. The Constitution of India also grants equality to women and empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women. But the NFHS -3 brings out a very bleak image of decision making power of the women in Madhya Pradesh & demonstrates that gender inequality still a persistent fact in the state.
The so called ‘grah swamini’ (home maker) are not even empowered to take decisions about herself & her daily household activities. She cannot even take decision on her own basic necessities regarding her education, marriage, health care and her likes & dislikes. Health care of women has been important component of National Policy for Empowerment of women framed in 2001. But merely 21.6 percent married women age 15-49 hold low level of feminine decision making power regarding her own health care in Madhya Pradesh; and out of them only 19.5 percent in rural areas having power to decide for her health care. Their important role is not recognized and therefore, still not accepted in decision-making. The share of women in family decision-making structure is still very low. Only 4.7 percentage of women accepted that they are key decision makers in the family for purchasing durable household items for their home. Even among the urban women who are generally considered to be bold & intelligent only 6.9 percentages of women mainly take decisions for major household purchase.