Health and education

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Health and education


One of the major gender issues raised for equality is women’s health. Various groups along with grassroots workers and non-governmental organizations are responsible for bringing the attention of the government and community to this important aspect of women’s lives. Several dimensions of women’s health have been highlighted through empirical research. He has been drawing attention to various issues related to health status and state policies.

In the pre-1947 period, studies on maternal and infant mortality rates and causes were the primary concern for women’s health in India. Various committees were appointed in 1946 and 1948, the most comprehensive being the Bhore Committee, which noted the high percentage of female deaths and the dire need for state intervention. After independence, health programs focused on maternal and child health. It was thought that antenatal and postnatal care, attention to hygienic conditions,

Adequate diet during pregnancy, a safe delivery system and knowledge of birth control will promote healthy motherhood. Immunization and nutrition for children were also included in the programs. The training of midwives and the provision of public health centers were included in the various five-year plans. However, the seriousness of health issues was first expressed when the findings of the Committee on the Status of Women in India (1947) revealed a falling sex ratio since 1901, marking the first decline in women’s health status for more than seven decades. indicates. Not only the decline in the sex-ratio, but also aspects such as maternal health, life expectancy, access to health services and nutritional status have drawn attention to the gender dimensions of women’s health as well as the wide north and south differences in the demographic picture. ,

Researchers as well as activists have been concerned with the various perspectives on the issue of women’s health. They ask, how can women’s health problems be separate from women’s health problems?

exists apart from the health problems of the overall population and the poorer sections of the society? How are the differences of region, class, caste, community affecting the health status of women? How do social stratification and gender affect women’s health? What is the role of medical care, health services and the overall socio-economic development of the region in building the health of the people? Another dimension of health concerns relates to health threats resulting from violence against women, invasive contraceptive techniques, selective abortion of female fetuses, and population control policies. All these concerns indicate that a healthy population does not mean only physical well-being by including mental and emotional aspects, concern for the patriarchal structure and nature of governance.

The status of women is a complex issue.


It is not subject to any simplistic interpretation of social reality. The literature on the status of women has been diverse and all of them address major issues affecting women in different areas of development. Though the areas of development are manifold, such as education, employment, political, social, legal, health etc. The Constitution of India has given equality to women. The introduction of adult suffrage, along with the removal of all discrimination on the basis of sex, provided for the complete emancipation of women. But the inequalities inherent in traditional structures have a significant impact on women in various walks of life.


Any assessment of the status of women has to start from the social framework. Social structure, cultural norms and clue systems influence social expectations regarding the behavior of both men and women and determine to a large extent a woman’s roles and her status in society. The most important of these institutions are lineage, family, kinship, marriage, and religious traditions. They provide the ideological and moral basis for men’s and women’s perceptions of their rights and duties. Normative standards do not change at the same pace as changes in other forms of social organization due to factors such as technological and educational progress, urbanization, increasing population, and changing costs and living standards.


This gap explains the persistent failure of legislation and educational policy to produce the desired impact on social trends. The social status of women in India is a typical example of this difference between the status and roles assigned to them by the constitution and laws, and those imposed on them by social traditions. What is theoretically possible for women is rarely within their reach.

The current chapter on women’s social issues deals with the status of women in terms of their health and education and the next chapter on women’s social issues will deal with issues related to land rights, personal laws and the civil code.





The International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 placed reproductive health at the center of the demographic objective rather than fertility reduction. The Cairo Conference recognized women’s rights as individual reproductive rights. gender equality and equity sustainable and sustainable

accepted as the goal of sustainable development. gender equality and equality; reduction in infant, child and maternal mortality; and the provision of universal access to reproductive health services, including family planning services, are some of the areas needed to reduce threats to women’s reproductive health in order to achieve gender equality.

Impressive achievements and intolerable shortfalls have characterized India’s health program over the past fifty years. On the one hand the death rate has come down; Life expectancy and infant survival conditions have improved over a period of time. When we compare the infant mortality rate with other countries it is very high. The World Bank report states that public health financing in India is characterized by an emphasis on hospital rather than primary care; urban rather than rural populations; medical offices instead of paramedics; services that have a greater personal rather than social return; and family planning and child health exclusion of broader aspects of women’s health. In fact, the gender gap in health and mortality has not only persisted but has also widened. Below we will analyze the health status of women in terms of: (a) demographic indicators of women’s health status; (b) nutritional patterns among women; (c) unequal access to health care, and (d) family planning programmes.


Demographic Indicators :

Although there has been an overall improvement in the health status of both men and women, women are still segregated from men when it comes to providing medical care to them, which shows the relative low status of women in our society. According to UNICEF, 12 million girls are born in India every year, of which 25 percent do not survive to the age of 15. The fact is that the mortality rate of the 0-5 year age group is almost 20 times higher than that of any other five year age group. By the age of 40 the female mortality rate is higher than the male mortality rate. Although the life expectancy of women has registered an increase in absolute numbers; Compared to the life expectancy of men; It’s still low. Notably, the maternal mortality rate is particularly high (Padmanabha: 1982).




Most populations in the world have a sex-ratio at birth favorable to females, even though males outnumber females at a younger age due to slightly more males than females (the sex-ratio at birth is less than 102). 107 boys) 100 girls) for biological reasons, but this advantage for men is neutralized by about 20 years of age due to higher mortality rates in boys than in girls (Lovers: 2001). At the national level, the ‘Child Sex Ratio’ (CSR) (of the population aged 0-6 years) declined from 962 in 1981 to 945 in 1991. 927 in 1991 to 2001 (Census of India: 2001).

Mitra (1979) was the first to warn in 1974 that a steady decline in the male to female ratio would threaten the very existence of the female sex in India. He described Indian women as the ‘fallen sex’. increased sex-

A proportion of the population was heavily concentrated among children during the 1980s. Statistics show that more than one lakh additional girls disappeared between 1981-91, a number already higher than those already missing by the skewed sex-ratio of 1981 (Gupta and Bhat: 1999). Meanwhile, the sex ratio of child mortality has remained stable, suggesting that much of this may be attributed to the practice of sex-selective abortion or unrestricted infanticide.




  Excess female infant mortality after birth remains the dominant practice among the remaining girl children in India. The sex ratio is unfavorable for India. Women across all religious groups, and in both rural and urban areas. The only region where the sex ratio is favorable for females is Kerala which also has the highest female literacy in India.

The lack of widespread availability of safe abortion services also adversely affects women’s health. By some estimates, about 5 million abortions are performed annually in India, most of which (about 4.5 million) are illegal (Khan et al.

: 1993; UNICEF: 1990, cited in Jeejeebhoy: 1994). As a result, abortion-related mortality and morbidity remain high, with at least 10 percent of all maternal deaths related to abortion.

Aging is often thought of as a decline in health. Most research and services focus on women of reproductive age, neglecting women older than these years. While the process of aging may bring some improvements and benefits to a woman in the period after middle age, these may diminish as she progresses into old age or when she becomes a widow (Rao and Townsend: 1999). . Of the family Access to resources if this association faces erosion




Care and sustenance are reduced, leaving her vulnerable. The risk increases for women who do not have any assets such as education, property or social status to survive. This vulnerability can be exacerbated by failing health and disability. Thus, a poor and physically weak, elderly widow is most defenseless in the Indian context (Chen and Dreze: 1995). It is important to note that older women not only

They suffer from diseases related to age, but also from accumulated malaise in the life-cycle, which can manifest themselves in an acute form in old age.

They suffer from diseases related to age, but also from accumulated malaise in the life-cycle, which can manifest themselves in an acute form in old age.

They suffer from diseases related to age, but also from accumulated malaise in the life-cycle, which can manifest itself in a severe form in old age.

The proportion of women reporting ‘couple problems’ is higher than that of men. This is expected, as post-menopausal women are particularly prone to the development of osteoarthritis, a painful degenerative joint disease (Tinker et al. 1994). Disability also affects the health of the elderly. It is well known that the prevalence of blindness in India varies not only by geographical location and degree of urbanisation, but also by gender (World Bank: 1940).



Poor nutrition is not only a problem of food and poverty but also a socio-cultural problem of women in Indian society. It cannot be denied that poverty is a major cause of malnutrition and undernourishment of women. Furthermore, it is the more unfavorable socio-cultural values that act against women in the distribution of food.

The poor nutritional status of Indian girls and women in general is part of a vicious cycle that has particularly devastating consequences for pregnant and lactating women and their infants. Malnourished women are more likely to give birth to low birth weight babies, and if the low birth weight baby is a surviving female, she is more likely to remain malnourished throughout childhood, adolescence and adulthood. This lack of nutrition has a detrimental effect on her reproductive and lactation abilities.

All nutritional programs are directed to the needs of pregnant and lactating mothers. However, despite these programmes, women remain undernourished from infancy to pregnancy and then past childbearing age. It cannot be denied that poverty is a major cause of malnutrition and undernutrition. But its more adverse impact on nutritional standards of women reflects the nexus of active poverty and socio-cultural values among them. Poor nutrition has serious consequences, especially for girls in childhood and adolescence (Jeejeebhoy: 1994). Anemia is a major health problem among Indian women. The study, conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research, found that over 65 percent of girls aged 1-14 years were surveyed across cities in India.




Hyderabad, New Delhi and Calcutta were anemic (ICMR: 1982). Anemia is particularly widespread in women during pregnancy, when iron requirements increase approximately fivefold (Hallberg: 1988).

Poor nutrition in females becomes apparent during infancy, persists through childhood, and tends to increase with age. In many Indian households, the largest share of food is usually given to the bread earner, followed by boys, the old or sick and last, the young girls and women in the household (Nagla: 1999). Girls are often neglected in matters of food and drink.

and health care. Discrimination in feeding may begin soon after birth because girls are breastfed less frequently than boys. In recent years, more attention has been paid to variations in the allocation of food within households. However, malnutrition rates are high among children and women. Ethnographic literature suggests that women are not fed as well as men in northern India (Harris: 1966; Miller: 1981). There is a vast difference in what is fed to boys and girls. The discrepancy increases with age. Malnutrition prevalent in a significant proportion of adult Indian women can be mainly attributed to inadequate food intake.


Households that theoretically have enough food, but the way it is distributed, can leave women undernourished. Usually, adult males and male children are fed first. The women eat only after the men have finished, and a young wife must allow her mother-in-law to eat first. Whatever is left is divided between the young mother and her daughters. This disparity in the distribution of food may be as much a case of poor communication as it is a deliberate practice, as men are generally unaware of how much women eat. Whatever the cause, and given the nutritional demands of childbearing and breastfeeding, nutritional deficiencies place women at particular risk during their childbearing years. Indian women may be malnourished because the quality of nutrients available even while eating is poor.


  Unequal Access to Health Care:

Medical and health services are also equally available to men and women. Only one woman does so for every three men who avail themselves of the facilities of a medical institution. This is not because of greater ‘health’ in women, but due to the lesser importance given to women’s diseases, women not only neglect others, but they also neglect themselves. Fewer women declare themselves sick than men. Access to health care is determined by “need”, “allowance”, “ability”, and “availability” (Chatterjee: 1990).




Perceived need and often “need” are limited to childbearing years. Even childbearing years are limited. For example

the NFHS reported that of births in the past four years, 62 percent of mothers received antenatal care, while 26 percent delivered in medical institutions and 34 percent were delivered by trained medical personnel (IIPS: 1995). ). to be unnecessary


  Social and economic norms determine ‘permission’ and ‘ability’. Often women need permission to receive health care. When there is a physical or financial dependence on caregivers, access is determined by the caregivers’ willingness and ability to provide treatment. For example, women who needed treatment for visual impairment if they had no choice or could not find alternative escorts (World Bank: 1994). Availability depends on geographic proximity, an affordability. Also, our health system is institution based rather household. This creates a barrier of perception among the rural population about the foreign environment of the hospital. Furthermore, women have a higher disability burden than men. they are short of time; Monetary resources and child care facilities. The mobility of women is far more restricted than that of men. Thus, they are deprived of access to the facilities provided by the health system.

The government is giving low priority to the health sector, which is evident from its various plan outlays. Besides this, inadequate coverage of rural health through primary health centers and non-utilisation of existing primary health centers also contribute a lot. Only 50 percent of pregnant women receive antenatal care. Only 20 percent of pregnant women are vaccinated against tetanus and still many deliveries are performed through untrained and unskilled midwives. Health care should be a right of every individual and not a privilege. India spends relatively heavily on health in terms of percentage of GDP as well as absolute US dollars compared to some other countries in the Asian region (Jeffrey: 1989), yet women remain excluded and marginalized from its scope.






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