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A Critical Study of Women’s Health in India from a Socio-Cultural and Gender Perspective


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1 Ph.D. Research Scholar, Political Science, Cotton University, Panbazar, Guwahati, Assam, India
     

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If we conceptualise health in a holistic sense, we would understand that it is not merely about the absence of diseases but essentially a socio-biological concept which hinges upon not just one’s physiology but the socio-cultural and psychological variables as well. It is in this context, 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. Indian society, with its conservative culture and distinct ascribed social roles, engineers a woman’s position in the social hierarchy and personal life experiences. Consequently, socio-cultural attitudes and gender constructs need to be understood as powerful decisive factors of one’s health that colludes with other variables like age, family, educational attainment, occupational structure, income and social support etc. Against the backdrop of this social model of health, this paper tries to understand the role played by socio-cultural factors and gender constructs in determining health of women in India. The paper also conclusively, tries to provide various holistic strategies and suggestions for improvement of women’s health.

Keywords

Social model of health, gender, cultural norms, gender mainstreaming, reproductive health.
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  • A Critical Study of Women’s Health in India from a Socio-Cultural and Gender Perspective

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Authors

Parismita Bhagawati
Ph.D. Research Scholar, Political Science, Cotton University, Panbazar, Guwahati, Assam, India

Abstract


If we conceptualise health in a holistic sense, we would understand that it is not merely about the absence of diseases but essentially a socio-biological concept which hinges upon not just one’s physiology but the socio-cultural and psychological variables as well. It is in this context, 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. Indian society, with its conservative culture and distinct ascribed social roles, engineers a woman’s position in the social hierarchy and personal life experiences. Consequently, socio-cultural attitudes and gender constructs need to be understood as powerful decisive factors of one’s health that colludes with other variables like age, family, educational attainment, occupational structure, income and social support etc. Against the backdrop of this social model of health, this paper tries to understand the role played by socio-cultural factors and gender constructs in determining health of women in India. The paper also conclusively, tries to provide various holistic strategies and suggestions for improvement of women’s health.

Keywords


Social model of health, gender, cultural norms, gender mainstreaming, reproductive health.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.37506/v11%2Fi2%2F2020%2Fijphrd%2F194899