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Women’s Health in India

Women’s Health in India

If you are looking for health tips for women in India, you’ll find so many health tips in the internet which is simply applicable for women all over the world. What makes women in India different is based on their culture, society and men’s perception towards women. If you’ll look back in history, you’ll find that women are of less value before and unfortunately, gender inequality is still very prone today especially in the rural areas of India. Women being not well-treated before is normal and is part of the tradition of India. Sati is one of the tradition in which the widow was immolated alive on her husband funeral pyre. It was supposed to be voluntary on the part of the widow but some were forced to do so. The act was abolished on the year 1829 under British power. However, it was only on the year 1987 in which the Commission Sati Prevention Act was established. Jauhar is also one of the tradition in which voluntary immolations were done to the wives and daughters of defeated warrior to avoid capture and consequent molestation by the enemy. Devadasis is a religious practice established on the 10th century AD in some parts of India in which woman is married o a deity or temple. This has been a cause of illegitimate sexual exploitation of women who are offered to the temple.

Crime against women of India is very eminent. India is forth of the most dangerous place for women to live in. Acid throwing is the easiest act of violence done by men towards women. Woman who refused a man’s proposal or asked for divorce normally suffer such act as acid can be easily bought everywhere. Sexual harassment. Eve teasing is a euphemism used to harass women by men.  Dowry. Despite the Dowry prohibition Act of 1961, a 1997 report showed at least 5000 women die in dowry related deaths in which women are burned in ‘kitchen fires’ or called ‘bride-burning’ and are thought to be intentional. Child marriage. 40% of world’s child marriage occurs in India, though it was already outlawed by 1860, many are still found to practice early marriage. 47% of Indian women aging 20-24 are discovered to be married before the legal age of 18 in which 56% of that are acquired from rural areas. Domestic violence is simply done by men towards their wives or daughter. Women are very not welcome in India to the point that female infanticides are very eminent. Women Trafficking. Women are forced towards prostitution, domestic work, or child labor in which salaries are very low or no pay at all. This is still done despite the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act of 1956.

Health matters don’t come any different. India has the 2nd highest maternal mortality in the world. Only 42% births are supervised by health care professionals and 88% of pregnant women aging 15-49 years old suffers anemia. This could have been prevented only if women are able to undergo preventive women health care service and were provided proper care and nutrition. Women in India have no control on becoming pregnant using safe and self controlled methods. What are often done are sterilization methods in which accounts for 75% of total contraception. This method is risky for women especially when done improperly which can lead to serious infections. Skewed sex ratio can be accounted to the “sex-selective abortion and female infanticides”. Almost 1 million female babies die each year due to this practice. Reports in Mumbai, the largest city in India showed that women were molested while urinating in fields. At this case, “the right to pee” in which toilets were generated with sanitary napkins, trash cans and female attendants to promote sanitation for women’s health in India.

Nowadays, the government has provided different infrastructure, technological advancement, and more medical assistance for women. The Independent India as it is now called, provide women new opportunity to  participate in areas such as education, sports, politics, media, arts and culture, service sectors and science and technology. Indira Gandhi served as a Prime Minister of India for 15 years. She is the world’s longest serving woman as Prime Minister. She serves as a proof of woman empowerment in India. The Self Employed Women Association helped to promote Feministic act in India blooms by 1970’s in which one improvement is an anti-liquor campaign to prevent women’s molestation by men under alcohol influence. By March 9, 2010 after the international woman’s day, Rajya Sapha passed Women’s Reservation Bill that requires 33% seats in the India’s Parliament and state legislative bodies reserved for women. Now, there are more than 120,000 Non Formal Education (NFE) exclusively for women to promote women education.

Women’s Issues in India can be summed up into five; maternal and child health, violence against women, nutritional status, unequal treatment of girls and boys and care equality. These issues are intrinsically linked to their status to their society. Despite the provisions, laws, and developments provided by the government and other independent parties, some women still suffer molestation, inequality, harassment, abuse towards the opposite sex. What the government has to work on is to shift from medical developments to focusing on destroying the social, cultural and economic barriers that delay women from seeking health care and assistance. Developments can be seen in terms of uplifting women in terms of education, health care, and other woman benefits, but access of benefits in relation to sex are still eminent. Women are still far behind men in accessing the overall government assistance. Men themselves are the ones hindering women to access the benefits at the same time, women are too afraid to access these benefits out of fear to be molested or harmed even more if they try to access these developments. What the government has to do is to provide means to change the perception of people of India both men and women. Seminars and counseling should be done to enlighten the minds of men to show the importance towards women and for women to strengthen their confidence of what they can do to their family, their country and especially for themselves. In general, they have to understand that both men and women should work together in fairness and equality for the betterment of India.


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