South Indian cities best for women in India; Hyderabad in top 5: Report

The findings were from the Avtar Group's report, in which Hyderabad even beat the national capital Delhi, which secured 30 points less than the top city

Hyderabad: Telangana’s capital city has emerged as one of the top cities for women in India with their ‘city inclusion’ scores above 60. Interestingly, the Avtar Group’s study has found that cities in south India dominates the top cities for women in India. In fact, Hyderabad even beat the national capital Delhi, which secured 30 points less than the top city and ranked 14th in the population of over a million category. 

The study was released by the Avtar group, which released its ‘Top Cities for Women in India’ report on Thursday. “The report, which is the culmination of a year-long exercise, is an algorithmic assimilation of data from over 200 sources including current ease of living index, PLFS, national census, crime records, NFHS, Ministry of Women & Child Development’s annual report, the IMF, as well as Avtar’s primary research with employer organizations and women, to arrive at a comprehensive City Inclusion Score,” the group said in a release.

Chennai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai have emerged as the top five cities for women in India with their ‘City Inclusion Scores’ above 60. According to the Avtar Group’s ‘Top Cities for Women in India’ report, only nine out of 111 cities scored above 50 in their ‘City Inclusion Scores’. In fact, the capital cities of many states did not even make it to the top 25 spots. Hyderabad, with its unique position in terms of infrastructure and space, was a strong contender.

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“While state capitals receive a lot of attention – politically, socio-economically, environmentally, and developmentally, their absence in the top 25 necessitates a deeper probe from the side of policy makers to understand the barriers faced by the state capitals in being inclusive for women professionals,” said the Avtar group.

Another parameter that showed south Indian cities faring better was the fact that eight Tamil Nadu cities were among top 10 cities for women in India in different categories.

Hitec City–Raidurgam metro rail services to start from Nov 29
Hitec City–Raidurgam Metro Rail.

Socio-political factors of state key factor

Speaking at the launch of the study, Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, founder-president, Avtar Group, said, “The fact that the South and West regions are more women-friendly in terms of employment is not a surprise, given the politico-historic context of these regions.”

Cities like Delhi, Nagpur, Aurangabad, and Faridabad have a social inclusion ranking which is lower than the industrial inclusion ranking. Whereas cities like Puducherry, Vishakhapatnam, Surat, and Bilaspur have a high social inclusion score with a low industrial inclusion ranking, the study found.

According to the Avtar Group, its City Inclusion Score is a composite of Social Inclusion Score (SIS) and Industrial Inclusion Store (IIS). The Social Inclusion Score (SIS) comprises social factors (quality of life, women’s safety, women’s representation in the workforce and women’s empowerment initiatives) that influence the city to be women friendly. Industrial Inclusion Score (IIS) evaluates the extent to which organisations in the city across industries are inclusive of women.

The IIS is based on three indicators – inclusive organisations, inclusive industries, and career enablers.

Inclusive organizations are defined as organizations that pursue Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a strategic priority. Here, leaders are vocal advocates of DEI and there is a strong culture of allyship. Women leaders inspire women along the talent pipeline to advance in their careers, intentionally.

Key findings of Top cities for Women in India report

  • Chennai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata, Coimbatore, and Madurai are the top 10 cities in category 1 – Top 25 cities with a population of more than one million.
  • Tiruchirappalli, Vellore, Erode, Salem, Tirupur, Puducherry, Shimla, Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, and Belagavi are the top 10 cities in category 2 – Top 25 cities with a population of less than one million.
  • In the northern region, the top three cities are Delhi, Srinagar, and Amritsar
  • In the southern region, the top three slots are taken by Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad
  • In the eastern region, Kolkata is at the top slot, followed by Dhanbad and Patna.
  • In the western region, Pune, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad secure first, second and third places respectively.
  • Raipur, Indore, and Bhopal secure the first, second and third places respectively in the Central region.
  • Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, and Karnataka have the top 5 state averages in the country.

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