Determinants of female autonomy and its impact on women’s well-being in Kerala, India

Binitha Velayudhan Thampi, Institute for Social and Economic Change

Female Autonomy has been acknowledged as a major factor contributing to better demographic outcomes. Female education and work participation are being considered as two major proxies of female autonomy and many research studies in developing countries have documented its significance. The NFHS(II) conducted in India has measured Autonomy in terms of household decision making and mobility indicators. An analysis has been carried out to understand the factors that are determining women’s autonomy in the state of Kerala, India. The achievements of Kerala in terms of demographic outcomes have largely been attributed to better educational achievements of women. However, the analysis has shown that education per se do not have a very significant bearing on women’s autonomy, where as their age, family structure, religion and work status do have. Also, the impact of autonomy on selected indicators their well-being like contraceptive use and incidence of domestic violence are not unidirectional.

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Presented in Poster Session 3