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Title: Understanding Multiple Determinants Of Women's Health
Authors: Mathrani, Vinalini
Keywords: Surinder Jaswal
School of Social Sciences
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Abstract: Women's morbidity is one of the many indicators, which reflects women's health status. Women's health status is a significant variable for understanding both women's situation and general development levels of larger society. Hence, women's health issues need to be approached within the larger discussion on iniquitous development trajectories. The experience of inequality has been implicated in negative health outcomes, thereby rendering women's morbidity a symptom of inequity. An awareness of this symptom can be the starting point for addressing inequity. This paper seeks to gam an enhanced awareness of this 'symptom'. It reviews the different morbidity data sets consolidated by the government (state sector), as these are supposed to be the base for health care planning. The state sector morbidity data is obtained from the National Family Health Survey, National Sample Survey, the Health Information ofIndia Reports and the National AIDS Control Organisation reports. This is supplemented by reviewing studies from the non-state sector, i.e., international funding and monitoring bodies and individual researchers. This exercise has been undertaken to draw attention to serious health concerns among women. This paper examines malefemale differences and urban-rural differences at the all India level. It presents issues related to representing women's morbidities in the state sector data sets. Women's 'voices' cannot be clearly heard and there are issues regarding representation. This paper reveals that data from the state sector is not adequately nuanced to throw light on the multi-layering of morbidities. The multiplicity of ailments afflicting people either simultaneously or serially is not revealed. The smaller non-state sector studies throw light on this aspect. Despite issues of 'voice' and representation, the paper underscores the fact that women cannot be approached as a monolithic entity. The tendency to view women as largely reproductive beings is erroneous and to locate women's health needs within the reproductive construct is questionable. Women in different age groups and different locations reveal differing morbidities and logically express different health needs. With regard to acute morbidities, there are significant urban-rural differentials with a higher morbidity rate being recorded in rural areas. It is also evident that the transition from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases with regard to morbidity has not yet taken place. There is a higher morbidity rate in rural areas with regard to reproductive and pregnancy-related ailments. Male-female differentials do not emerge in all data sets. In some cases, rural men are more affected. This could be attributed to reporting issues. It is also evident that data is collected based on what policymakers regard as relevant and may not reflect what actually prevails on the ground. This indicates that there are concerns (diseases and conditions) that are common to both men and women that should also be considered when addressing women's health issues. Keeping the spotlight on reproductive issues addresses some women's health needs only partially. Given this analysis, it is evident that inequality is so deeply engrained that we are unable to even clearly 'see' the symptoms through existing government data sets. The current socio-economic and political status of women inhibits them from even admitting to disease, sickness and illness. Hence, equity in the articulation of health needs and equity in access to health care emerge as major areas for action.
Appears in Collections:M.Phil.

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01_title.pdf25.75 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02_contents.pdf52.6 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
03_list of tables.pdf42.03 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
04_list of figures.pdf22.57 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
05_list of boxes.pdf14.47 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
06_acknowledgements.pdf32.89 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
07_introductory note.pdf45.57 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
08_chapter 1.pdf1.5 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
09_chapter 2.pdf1.64 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
10_chapter 3.pdf2.21 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
12_chapter 5.pdf1.19 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
13_bibliography.pdf113.37 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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