Violence against women up, child mortality down in Karnataka | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Prevalence of obesity among both men and women, declining incidence of newborns being breastfed within one hour of birth and increase in C-section deliveries are some of the alarming trends in Karnataka, according to the National Family Health Survey 2019-20 released on Saturday.
While 56.3% of newborns were fed within one hour of birth during 2014-15, the figure dropped to 49.1% five years later, says the report, which provides Karnataka’s population and household profile across 131 parameters.

However, the state has shown improvement on several fronts. While the infant mortality rate fell from 26.9% in 2014-15 to 25.4% in 2019-20, the neonatal mortality rate dipped from 18.5% to 15.8% and mortality rate among children below the age of 5 from 31.5 % to 29.5%.
Field work for the survey was conducted in Karnataka from July 10, 2019 to December 11, 2019. Data was gathered from 26,574 households: 30,455 women and 4,516 men were interviewed.
The report reveals a rise in violence against women. The percentage of married women in the 18-49 age group who experienced spousal violence increased over 100% — from 20.6 in 2014-15 to 44.4 in 2019-20. However, that of women in the same age group who were subjected to physical violence during pregnancy fell from 6.5% to 5.8%.
In 2014-15, 10.3% of Karnataka’s young women (18-29 years) had experienced sexual violence at the age of 18. This has gone up to 11%, according to the survey. The prevalence of sexual violence is more in rural areas (11.2%) of the state than urban (10.9%).
Notwithstanding the violence and abuse they face, women are marching ahead. While 45.5% of women had 10 or more years of schooling in 2014-15, the figure has increased to 50.2% in the latest survey (62.3% in urban areas and 42% in rural).
The report also points to the increase in C-section deliveries (both in government and private hospitals) in the past five years — from 23.6% to 31.5%. The practice is more prevalent in urban areas (35.2%) compared to rural (29.4%).

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Sagar Biswas

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