Chennai the Top Big Indian City for Women, South Fares Better Than North: Report

New Delhi: Of the biggest cities in India – those with a population of more than one million people – Chennai is the most conducive for women in the workforce, a study has found. Pune comes next, followed by Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

The national capital, Delhi, ranked 14th on this list. Only 10 state capitals feature in the list of top 25 cities. “Most of the state capitals are the ones that receive a lot attention – politically, socio-economically, environmentally, and developmentally. Hence their absence in the top 25 necessitates a deeper probe from the policy makers to understand the barriers faced by the state capitals in being women friendly,” the report notes.

The study, conducted by talent strategy consulting firm Avtar, analyses cities on five metrics – ease of living, safety, women’s representation rate and women’s empowerment initiatives. In addition, the study also looked at different institutions/organisations working out of these cities, and how inclusive they were for women. The study is based on a survey of 783 women.

For smaller cities, with a population of less than one million, all five of the top ranked cities were in Tamil Nadu – Tiruchirappalli, Vellore, Erode, Salem and Tiruppur.

“Chennai has emerged on top of the million plus category cities from the study as the Top city for Women in India with a score of 78.41. In the less a million category, Tiruchirappalli at 71.61 has been ranked the Top City for Women,” the report noted.

In terms of state averages, Kerala emerged on top. “Kerala emerges on top with the highest state average [inclusion score] of 55.67. It is remarkable to note that among the top five states with highest average, three of them are from South India and one each from the West & North,” the report states.

Overall, the survey found that cities in the south and west fared much better than those in the north and east:

“While comparing the average scores of each region, it was found that the Southern region emerges on top closely followed by the West. While Southern region scores an average of 46.17, West scores 41.13. Finally, the North Indian cities comes third with an average of 36.03, closely followed by Central region at 31.17 and finally by East at 29.43.”

Based on their research into the different indicators that go into make it city, Avtar recommends governments in states including Delhi pay more attention to social factors that ensure a safe and inclusive environment for women. In other states, however, while the social factors are conducive, organisations have not worked to create women-friendly cultures.

An ideal city, the report notes would have the following amenities accessible to all:

“1. Usable public amenities, effective crime response, and appreciable living standards. These ensure the basic trust for both the city, companies, and 1 women to ramp up upon.

2. Conducive culture, supportive peer groups, and thriving corporate eco-system. These ensure rich career prospects and progression.

3. Inclusively mature, diversely driven, and a tendency for allyship. These ensure an inclusive space that facilitates steady personal and professional growth.”

Featured image: Vassos Kyriacou/Pixabay

This article was first published on The Wire.