New Delhi: The provision of fifty percent reservation for women in local body elections might have empowered the fairer sex in the state politically, but the novel measure of the Bihar government has failed to empower most of them financially.

To figure out the condition of women in the state, a study was conducted by the Planning Commission in East Champaran, Vaishali, Madhubani and Kishanganj districts of Bihar. The study revealed that the political empowerment has hardly brought any change in the social condition of women in the state.

The Planning Commission conducted surveys in 12 different blocks of these districts.  It included Maheshi, Sugauli, Pakridayal blocks of Eastern Champaran, Hazipur, Vidupur and Vaishali blocks of Vaishali district, Rahika, Rajnagar, Bisfi blocks in Madhubani and Kochadhaman, Kishanganj and Potia block of Kishanganj district.

According to the study conducted on more than 2500 women, despite increased participation of women in panchayats, they are still devoid of access to basic amenities like water, power and housing.

As per the report, 66 percent women are still illiterate, 75 percent women folk reside in mud houses. Moreover, nearly half of the women have five or more kids, an indication of failure of the family planning programme in the districts.

75 percent women responded that two-third of their savings are spent on medical treatment. Owing to the deplorable condition of the government hospitals, they have to take the services of private doctors.

However, the survey also showed some positive developments. In Sadar area of Kishanganj, 43.3 percent women informed they are availing mobile phone facility. Nearly 54.7 percent in Eastern Champaran, 79.2 per cent in Madhubani and 88.8 percent in Vaishali are technically advanced and are using mobile phones.

On the employment front, most of the women who responded to the survey informed that they are employed only for only six -eight months in a year. Despite toiling hard, they get 30 percent lesser daily wage than males. Moreover, they do not have the right to spend their income according to their wish.

Nearly one-third women mentioned about scarcity of water as they do not have access to safe drinking water. 82 percent females in Kishanganj, 53.2 percent in Madhubani and 38 percent in Champaran have to depend on outside sources of water to meet their daily water requirement.

(JPN/Bureau)