National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2019-20- released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on December 12 finds an urban-rural gender gap concerning the internet usage in 17 states and 5 union territories.
According to the data collected from the survey, on an average, less than 3 out of 10 women in rural India and 4 out of 10 women in urban India ever used the Internet.
A perusal of the data by Madhyamam reveals that only an average of 42.6 percent of women ever used the Internet as against an average of 62.16 per cent among the men.
In urban India, this has increased to an average of 56.81 per cent women ever used the Internet compared to an average of 73.76 per cent among the men. Whereas, the graph had a significant fall in rural India as only 33.94 per cent women have ever used the Internet as against 55.6 per cent among men.
Out of the 17 states, five states have reported the lowest percentage of women ever used the Internet in urban India which are Andhra Pradesh (33.9%), Bihar (38.4%), Tripura (36.6%), Telangana (43.9%) and Gujarat (48.9%) as follows. Whereas the top five states with the highest percentage of women ever used the internet in urban India are Sikkim (90), Mizoram (83.8), Himachal (78.9), Goa (78.1),Kerala (64.9).
Among the five union territories, the percent of women ever used the internet in urban India are J&K (55%), Ladakh (66.5%), Lakshadweep (61.80%), Dadra & Nagar Haveli (49.4) and Andaman & Nicobar island (44.1).
Considering the percent of women ever used the internet in rural India, only three states and one union territory reported more than 50 per cent women, who had used the Internet – Goa (68.3%), Kerala (57.5%), Sikkim (68.1%), and Ladakh (54%). The five states reporting the lowest percentage of women, who ever used the Internet in rural India, were: West Bengal (14%), Andhra Pradesh (15.4%), Telangana (15.8%), Tripura (17.7%) and Bihar (17%).
Out of the 17 states and 5 union territories, the worst five performing states in percentage of men ever used the internet in urban India are Bihar (58.4%), Meghalaya (59.2%), West Bengal (64.6%), Andhra Pradesh (65.1%) and Assam (67.4%).
In rural India, only eight states reported more than 50 per cent men, who had ever used the Internet: Goa (76.6%), Himachal Pradesh (65.1%), Karnataka (55.6%), Kerala (74.2%), Manipur (68.2%), Mizoram (63.9%), Nagaland (55.2%) and Sikkim (69.5%). The five worst-performing states in urban India for men were Assam (37.8%), West Bengal (38.3%), Meghalaya (38.5%), Bihar (39.4%) and Andhra Pradesh (41.5%).
The survey was conducted in 6.1 lakh sample households, involving household-level interviews, to collect information on population, health, family planning and nutrition related indicators.
Comparing to the contents of NFHS-5 to that of NFHS-4, the NFHS-5, has included some new topics, such as preschool education, disability, access to a toilet facility, death registration, bathing practices during menstruation, and methods and reasons for abortion.
The results from 17 States and five Union Territories (Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Telangana, West Bengal, Mizoram, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu) were released on Saturday under Phase-I.
"The survey under Phase 2 covering other states will be released next year", the health ministry had said.