Southern Indian States More Conducive for Working Women, finds Survey
By: Ayushi Dutta, Correspondent
Chennai is renowned for its favorable environment for women in the workforce. The southern Indian cities are ranked as top choices for women due to their inclusive industries, ease of living, and safety. These cities offer access to health, education, employment opportunities, comprehensive urban and social services, and a safe environment.
Chennai, often referred to as the "Gateway to South India," is one of the most prominent cities in the southern region of the Indian subcontinent. Known for its rich cultural heritage, economic significance, and high standard of living, Chennai has recently been crowned as the top choice for working women in India. According to a recent Avtar Group study, Chennai topped the list of the most conducive cities for women in the workforce. Additionally, the survey found that southern Indian cities ranked relatively higher on the livability index for women.
Avtar Group is a prominent firm that focuses on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). The firm recently conducted a study that assessed 111 cities based on their social and industrial inclusion parameters to identify the most conducive ecosystems for women.
The Avtar study reveals Chennai is the most conducive city for women in the workforce, followed by Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. Delhi ranks 14th, and only 10 state capitals feature in the top 25.
The study reveals that the top five cities for women's representation, safety, and empowerment initiatives are all in Tamil Nadu, with smaller cities like Tiruchirappalli, Vellore, Erode, Salem, and Tiruppur ranking highest. According to the study, Chennai is the top city for women in India, with a high number of women in the workforce and livability. This holistic growth and conducive environment contribute to overall inclusion and is not just about corporate solutions.
Policymakers need to investigate barriers faced by these cities. The report suggests that state capitals, often highly regarded politically, socio-economically, environmentally, and developmentally, need a deeper investigation into their barriers to women-friendly practices.
An Eye-Opening Perspective
The fact that many of these cities are also industrial hubs with a high female labor force has helped them rise in the rankings. Chennai scored highly on these criteria, making it India's best city for women. The city is well-known for its safety and has one of the highest rates of female labor force participation in India. The study also found that cities with a high female labor force, such as Chennai, have higher livability, which contributes to their overall inclusion.
In various aspects, it has gained a reputation as a city where women fare better compared to many other parts of the country, particularly in the northern regions. Compared to many other Indian cities, Chennai is often cited for its relatively better safety and gender equality. A well-developed public transport system, including the Chennai Metro, enhances women's mobility and accessibility to various parts of the city. Additionally, the city has been proactive in implementing initiatives and laws to protect and empower women, contributing to a safer environment.
Studies conducted on Women Workforce in Southern and Northern States
The study also examined the inclusivity of various institutions and organizations in these cities, based on a survey of 783 women. Chennai is ranked as the top city for women in India, with a score of 78.41, followed by Tiruchirappalli at 71.61. Kerala, with a state average of 55.67, also ranks highest, with three from South India and one from West and North.
The survey revealed that cities in the south and west performed better than those in the north and east, with the Southern region scoring highest at 46.17, followed by the West at 41.13. The North Indian cities are the third most populous with 36.03, followed by the Central region at 31.17 and the East at 29.43.
Avatar suggests that governments in states such as Delhi pay more attention to social factors that are conducive to a safe and inclusive environment for women. While organizations have not yet created women-friendly centers in other states apart from driving social factors. The cities were assessed based on their Social Inclusion Score (SIS) and Industrial Inclusion Score (IIS), focusing on factors enabling women's livability and the inclusivity of organizations. The UN evaluates cities as 'women-friendly' based on specific parameters.
Difference between Southern & Northern states
Disparities in economic development and quality of life between cities in India's southern and western regions and those in the country's northern and eastern regions have long been a feature of the country's urban landscape. India's urban centers' prosperity and development vary due to historical, geographical, economic, and sociopolitical factors, with cities in the south and west experiencing better outcomes.
Because of a combination of historical, cultural, and socioeconomic factors, women's empowerment in India varies significantly between southern and northern states. The disparities are the result of a complex interplay of historical legacies, cultural norms, economic development, and governance. State-level variations in women's empowerment can be significant, and addressing these disparities is critical to achieving more equitable gender empowerment and development across the country.