The States reporting the best sex ratios are Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, while the worst off States are Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab

India’s southern and north-eastern States get an A grade on a multi-indicator gender scorecard, while Gujarat gets a D and Delhi a G.

The Delhi Policy Group, a non-partisan Delhi-based research and advocacy group, prepared the scorecards by ranking States and the Centre on seven indicators — sex ratio, health, education, political representation, crimes against women, employment and decision-making — and grading them from A to J (one to ten) relative to their distance from an ideal score. Each indicator had on average four or more indicators within it, and all the data was from official sources, Radha Kumar, director-general of the DPG, said. The grades were dynamic, meaning that change over time improved scores.

India as a whole got a D+ grade, with an F on crimes against women, based on data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). “While it is important to look at criminal complaints of crimes against women, it would also be instructive to look at civil complaints of domestic violence,” Additional Solicitor General and women’s rights activist Indira Jaisingh suggested. All States reported rising rates of crimes against women and falling conviction rates, with Madhya Pradesh reporting by far the highest number of rapes of any State.

The States reporting the best sex ratios meanwhile were Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, while the worst off States were Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab. Kerala was the best performing State on most female health indicators, while Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha were the worst performing. Education was one of the few indicators that most States were improving on, but high drop-out rates remained a problem.

With the Women’s Reservation Bill still hanging fire, India continues to have one of the lowest rates of female political participation, far lower than all of its south Asian neighbours. On account of reservation in local body elections, all states have between 33% and 50% female local body representatives, the scorecards showed. There was however significant variations between States in the proportion of women judges in high courts, from a low of 3.1% in Andhra Pradesh to a high of 16.7% in Rajasthan and Delhi.

Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya were the top-ranked states, getting an A+ grade, with Himachal Pradesh and Manipur following with an A grade and Kerala with an A-. Maharashtra and Karnataka followed with Bs and Gujarat was tied with Jharkhand in the middle for a D+. Assam, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir were tied for the bottom spot, all getting an overall grade of G.

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