In this paper, the importance of women in decision-making at family level in Patna City (Bihar, India) has been studied in detail. The status of women in society is a significant indicator of the socio-economic development of a region. The crucial parameters regarding women, such as their freedom of movement, involvement in family matters, the decision in the purchase of home assets and family planning, etc. are chosen to ascertain the degree of women empowerment in the study area. On the basis of these variables, the womens’ decision-making index (DMPI) has been calculated to determine the socio-economic status of women in their respective families. The study is based on primary data collected from 500 women having the age between 18 to 60 years in Patna city using stratified sampling method. The present report also examines some important features and autonomous factors which usually affect womens’ decision-making ability at the family or domestic level. In the study area, it was found that the power of women in decision-making was historically limited primarily due to patriarchal ideology. The study reveals that about 45% of the women enjoyed equal status in the family with regard to taking various decisions. The educational level and employment status of women was observed to be the most important factor determining their empowerment and involvement in decision making in all spheres of domestic life.
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