Women's Empowerment

  •  Another significant survey module included in both the 2008 and 2013 NDHS is the Women’s Empowerment Module. It examines indicators of women’s empowerment such as women’s control over own and husband’s earnings, women’s ownership of assets, women’s participation in decision making and women’s attitudes towards wife beating. It also examines their relationship with selected demographic and health outcomes, including contraceptive use, ideal family size, unmet need for family planning, and child mortality.

Married Women’s Control Over Own Earnings

  •  For the 2013 NDHS, 46 percent of married women with cash earnings decide themselves how their earnings are used, while 51 percent say that they decide jointly with their husband. It was 41 percent and 54 percent respectively in 2008 NDHS.
  •  Only 3 percent (in 2013) and 4 percent (in 2008) of married women said that their husbands mainly decide how wives’ earnings are used.
  •  Younger married women (age 15-24) are more likely to decide how their earnings are used than older married women. This is true both in 2008 and 2013 NDHS.

Married Women’s Control Over Husbands/Partners’ Earnings

  •  An estimated 31 percent (in 2013) and 27 percent (in 2008) of married women said that they are the ones who mainly decide how their husbands’ earnings are used while 61 percent (in 2013) and 63 percent (in 2008) said they jointly decide with their husbands about the use of the husbands’ earnings.
  •  Around 8 percent (in 2013) and 10 percent (in 2008) of married women said that their husbands mainly decide how their earnings are used.

Women’s Participation in Decision-Making

  •  Around 52 percent (in 2013) and 50 percent (in 2008) of married women said they alone made decisions about their own health care, while 45 percent (in 2013) and 44 percent (in 2008) said they decide jointly with their husbands.
  •  Likewise, 20 percent (in 2013) and 21 percent (in 2008) said they also made decisions mainly for major household purchases, while 66 percent (in 2013) and 65 percent (in 2008) were decided by both husband and wife.
  •  For purchases of daily household needs, 61 percent (in 2013) and 59 percent (in 2008) were mainly decided by women; only 32 percent (in 2013) and 33 percent (in 2008) were decided by both husband and wife.
  •  On visits to women’s family or relatives, 69 percent (in 2013) and 70 percent (in 2008) were decided jointly by both husband and wife; 24 percent (in 2013) and 23 percent (in 2008) were mainly decided by women.

Ownership of Assets

  •  In the 2013 NDHS, questions on assets ownership were included. The results reveal that around 32.9 percent of women own a house either alone or jointly with someone else. It means that 67.1 percent of women do not own a house. In addition, around 18 percent own land either alone or jointly with someone else which means 82 percent do not.

Women’s Attitudes Toward Wife Beating

  •  14 percent of married women agreed that a husband is justified in beating his wife for at least one of the following circumstances: if she burns the food, if she argues with him, if she goes out without telling him, if she neglects the children, and if she refuses to have sexual intercourse with him
  •  12 percent of married women said wife beating is acceptable if women neglect the children
  •  5 percent agreed wife beating is justifiable if women go out without telling their husbands
  •  3 percent believed a husband is justified in beating his wife if a woman argues with him
  •  2 percent agreed that wife beating is justified if a woman burns the food or refuses to have sex with him