The percentage of women consuming alcohol has doubled in the last four years in Gujarat, a ‘dry state’ since its inception in 1960, according to the recently released National Family Health Survey (NFHS- 5) report for 2019-20. A total of 33,343 women and 5,351 men from Gujarat were covered under the NFHS-5.
Of the women surveyed, nearly 200, which is 0.6 per cent, claimed they consumed liquor, a rise from the 68 women who had said so in the NFHS-4 survey for the year 2015-16. For NHFS-4, the sample size in Gujarat was 22,932 women and 5,574 men.
However, the comparison of the two surveys also shows that liquor consumption among men has halved during the same period. In the 2015-16 survey, 618 men (11.1 per cent of 5,574) had claimed they consumed liquor, and this has come down to 310 men, or 5.8 per cent of the 5,351 surveyed, in the latest report.
Sociologist Gaurang Jani on Monday attributed the rise in the percentage of women drinkers to “party culture” and greater acceptability of liquor consumption in society. “The middle class and upper middle class have embraced the party culture in recent times. As a result, women in families have also started consuming liquor. Earlier, men used to go out to drink. Now, a new culture of consuming liquor in family parties has emerged,” said Jani.
“People are throwing family parties to celebrate even small events. Moreover, kitty parties have also contributed to higher liquor consumption among women, NRIs are also bringing liquor with them and enjoying it during house parties here with relatives,” he claimed.