GUWAHATI, Oct 17 - Despite all efforts of the government to protect the girl child and promote gender equality, the sex ratio in Assam has gone down over the past decade.
As per findings of the recent National Family Health Survey 4 (2015-16), sex ratio (females per 1,000 males) at birth for children born during the previous five years stood at 929.
While the figure was as low as 794 in urban areas, it was 945 in rural areas of the State.
It is a big fall since the third round of NFHS in 2005-06 when the sex ratio at birth for children born during the previous five years was 1,033.
The key indicators of NFHS-4 also show that sex ratio of the total population in 2015-16 was 993. In the rural areas, the number was 996 and in urban Assam it was 993.
The sex ratio of the total population of the State was 1,008 in 2005-06.
As per NFHS-4, 71.8 per cent of the women in Assam in the age group of 15-49 years were literate. The literacy rate for the segment stood at 87 per cent in urban areas and 69.2 per cent in rural areas. This is an improvement from 2005-06 when the overall figure was only 63 per cent.
According to the key indicators of the latest survey, 26.2 per cent of the women (age group of 15-49 years) in the State had schooling of 10 years or more, as against 19.3 per cent in 2005-06.
Overall, 75 per cent of the female population in Assam of age six and above has at some time or other attended school, including 88.1 per cent in urban areas and 72.9 per cent in rural areas, NFHS-4 said.
The previous survey, NFHS-3, had found that 70.2 per cent of the women in Assam were in that category in 2005-06.
There has also been some improvement with regard to nutritional status of women in the State during the decade between 2005-06 and 2015-16. The survey found that the quantum of women in the age group of 15-49 years whose body mass index (BMI) was below normal, had fallen to 25.7 per cent compared to 36.5 per cent during NFHS-3.
The percentage of women in that age group who used any kind of tobacco had also come down to 19.7 per cent from 23.2 per cent during the period. Similarly, women who consumed alcohol constituted 6.9 per cent of the segment in 2015-16 as against 7.5 per cent in 2005-06.
The National Family Health Survey 2015-16 is the fourth in the NFHS series and it provides information on population, health and nutrition.
As in the earlier rounds, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare designated International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, as the nodal agency to conduct NFHS-4.
The main objective of each successive round of the NFHS has been to provide essential data on health and family welfare and emerging issues in this area.