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Women’s Mental Health in India:An Analysis through the Gender Lens


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1 PhD Research Scholar, Political Science, Cotton University, Panbazar, Guwahati, Assam, India
     

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As opposed to the traditional biomedical view of health, the social model of health defines it essentially, as a positive concept which significantly hinges on and is impacted by the social settings, personality of the individual , as well as physical capacities.’ It is in this context, mental health issues among women in general and Indian women in particular, as a subset of the larger corpus of health concerns needs to be inevitably understood and contextualised in the societal and cultural milieu within which women operate. One of such important societal constructs that seems to have a significant impact on mental and emotional health and experience of women is the the construct of gender and its corollaries like gender roles, expectations, demeanour, stereotypes etc. The social construct of gender engineers a woman’s position in the social hierarchy and also has a prominent bearing on her social and personal life experiences. Consequently, socio-cultural context and gender need to be understood as powerful decisive factors of one’s mental and emotional make-up that colludes with other variables like age, family, educational attainment, occupational structure, income and social support etc. The paper attempts to study the mental health concerns among women in India by especially, trying to locate its causes in the socio-cultural factors amid which the women live. Conclusively, the paper tries to highlight various suggestions for developing holistic solutions towards the improvement of mental health of women.

Keywords

Mental Health, Gender, Domestic Violence, Social Model of Health.
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  • Women’s Mental Health in India:An Analysis through the Gender Lens

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Authors

Parismita Bhagawati
PhD Research Scholar, Political Science, Cotton University, Panbazar, Guwahati, Assam, India

Abstract


As opposed to the traditional biomedical view of health, the social model of health defines it essentially, as a positive concept which significantly hinges on and is impacted by the social settings, personality of the individual , as well as physical capacities.’ It is in this context, mental health issues among women in general and Indian women in particular, as a subset of the larger corpus of health concerns needs to be inevitably understood and contextualised in the societal and cultural milieu within which women operate. One of such important societal constructs that seems to have a significant impact on mental and emotional health and experience of women is the the construct of gender and its corollaries like gender roles, expectations, demeanour, stereotypes etc. The social construct of gender engineers a woman’s position in the social hierarchy and also has a prominent bearing on her social and personal life experiences. Consequently, socio-cultural context and gender need to be understood as powerful decisive factors of one’s mental and emotional make-up that colludes with other variables like age, family, educational attainment, occupational structure, income and social support etc. The paper attempts to study the mental health concerns among women in India by especially, trying to locate its causes in the socio-cultural factors amid which the women live. Conclusively, the paper tries to highlight various suggestions for developing holistic solutions towards the improvement of mental health of women.

Keywords


Mental Health, Gender, Domestic Violence, Social Model of Health.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.37506/v11%2Fi1%2F2020%2Fijphrd%2F193921