Southern Cities Score Big in the 2nd edition of Top Cities for Women in India Index

Southern Cities Score Big in the 2nd edition of Top Cities for Women in India Index
  • Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, and Hyderabad rank as the Top 5 Cities for Women in India
  • National Capital Delhi debuts in the Top 10 Cities for Women in India
  • Rankings of Gurugram and Jaipur improve significantly

New Delhi, January 4th, 2024:   Avtar group, India’s pioneer in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) solutions, released the second edition of ‘Top Cities for Women in India (TCWI)’ index today. Data obtained from various governmental sources including Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS July 2022-June 2023), national census and crime records were assimilated apart from Avtar’s primary research on women’s employment. The research comprised an open survey and Focus Group Discussions (FGD) between July 2023 and December 2023 in which over 1200 women from across the country participated. The metrices derived from both the survey and governmental data were put together to arrive at the comprehensive City Inclusion Scores (CIS). 

Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Coimbatore, and Jaipur emerge as Top 10 Cities for Women in India in the Category 1 that lists cities with a population of more than one million. The national capital makes a debut in this edition of Top 10 by positioning itself on the 8th rank. The performance of Tamil Nadu state capital Chennai is commendable – it cemented its position as the top city for women to retain its number 1 ranking.

While building inclusive and equitable cities is still work in progress in India, Southern cities that have strong historical and social factors along with enabling government policies are contributing to gender-progressive living environments helping the cities feature in the index.

Tamil Nadu cities dominate in both population-wise categories with Chennai topping the million plus category and Tiruchirappalli topping the less than a million category. 

As many as 8 cities out of 10 in the less than a million-population category are from the Southern part of India – Tiruchirappalli, Vellore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur and Puducherry. Only two cities – Shimla and Gurugram are from the Northern region. Tamil Nadu with Chennai and Coimbatore, and Maharashtra with Mumbai and Pune are the only states with two cities each in the million-plus category, that have made it to the Top 10 index.

Speaking at the announcement, Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Founder-President, Avtar group said, “Vibrant employment opportunities, good quality of life including educational and healthcare facilities, well-connected transportation networks, experience of safety are defining attributes of inclusive cities for women.  Avtar’s annual index, Top Cities for Women in India is a clarion call to create equitable pathways to increase women’s workforce participation in the country. Our data-driven and evidence-based understanding of the ethos of Indian cities towards women’s inclusion will help in making our country a developed nation by 2027 – as envisioned by our Honorable Prime Minister. Creating environments where women thrive, lead, and contribute their fullest potential is crucial in this pursuit.”  

Key findings of the Top cities for Women in India 2023 report

  • 7 Tamil Nadu Cities are among Top Cities for Women in India across categories.
  • Southern cities dominate in the less than a million category – 8 out of 10 are from the South.  
  • Jaipur bags the 10th rank in the TCWI list in the million plus category.
  • Gurugram is at the number one position in industrial inclusion in the less than a million category.
  • 32% of the women surveyed feel unsafe and 21% women feel unsure of their safety, stepping out after 8 pm in their cities.
  • Women rate Indian cities the best on educational and healthcare facilities.
  • 31% of women feel judged for their choice of attire in their cities, while 30% report mixed experiences.

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