Niti Aayog may soon come up with a nationwide yardstick to measure how various states fare in terms of treatment of women.
This yardstick would be in the form of the Women in Socio-Economic (WISE) index that would rank states based on their performance on different parameters of gender equality, according to a report in The Print. These parameters relate to women’s access to healthcare, household infrastructure like toilets and LPG cylinders, and educational and professional avenues, their ability to take decisions in the family, their economic empowerment among others.
The yardstick has been modelled on the Good Governance Index recently released by the government and is the first to be dedicated exclusively to assess the degree of women empowerment in the country.
Niti Aayog sources said that the Union ministries of women and child development, human resource development and health have been asked to provide their inputs within three months. The idea was first conceived by Niti Aayog in its strategy document last year.
To begin with, the WISE index will rely on existing government data, for instance, those from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). No new data will be compiled for now and the ministries need to send in existing data on the decided criteria.