Single women are a heterogeneous category. They include never married, separated, widow and divorced.
As per socio-economic caste census, these categories have been defined as follows.
1. Never Married: Who is nor married at all. (The SEC census is silent about the age of this category. But in practice as well as defined in the Women Policy of Odisha, the women who are above 30 years of age and have not married are considered as Never Married women category.
2. Widow: The women whose husband are dead and presently not married are considered as widow.
3. Separated: Women who are separated and living apart from their husbands with no intention of living together further are considered as separated. The women who are separated against their wishes or consent would also be covered under this category.
4. Divorced: Either by decree of a court or by an accepted social or religious customs and are not remarried at present are considered as divorced.