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Health Status of Women in India

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Women & Health in India
Women & Health in India
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Health Status of Women in India

  1. 1. HEALTH STATUS OF WOMEN IN INDIA Good health of women is a prerequisite for development and is one of the important indicators of their status. Moreover, women health affects the economic well being of a household as a woman in poor health will be less productive in the labor force. Due to biological and physiological differences there are differences in disease prevalence and manifestations between males and females. Women experience unique reproductive health issues and conditions, from pregnancy and menopause to gynecological conditions. Apart from this, gender inequality in terms of powerlessness, poor access to resources and constrained roles can give rise to differences in health status and access to health care between men and women. This becomes a major obstacle in the achievement of well being and acts as a barrier to good health, which is social, physical and psychological. Although true health status is not directly observable, systematic gender differential existing in terms of health is indicated through certain secondary data such as sex ratio, age specific mortality rates, maternal mortality, literacy rate and enrollment rate. They are discussed here. According to the Government of India, there has been a slight improvement in the sex ratio of total population of India in 2011 (940 per 1000 males as compared to 933 per 1000 males in 2001). It is still a disturbing phenomenon that sex ratio is not favourable to women in India keeping in mind the universal biological fact that sex ratio at birth is always favourable to males. In the neonatal stages the chances of male infant mortality is higher and female infants are biologically stronger and it is believed that the sex ratios get balanced in the infant stage. In the 2011 census, the child-sex ratio [0 to 6 years] has declined from 927 female per 1000 males in 2001 to 914 females per 1000 males in 2011 in India. Literacy and education (also one of the key
  2. 2. indicators of human development) play a vital role in understanding the benefits of good health and hygiene. Census data on literacy rates in 2011 shows wider gap between males (82.14) and females (65.16) in India (Government of India, census 2011) Even though the expectation of life at birth for women is higher than men throughout the world, it is of concern that in India the proportion of obesity of women to men is higher, the percentage of women possessing correct knowledge of HIV – AIDS is much lesser than that of men, the primary school enrolment rate for girls is lesser than that of boys, mortality rate of children below five years of age is higher for girls (United Nations WHO 2012). This shows a definite disadvantage for females in India. Table 1 – Infant Mortality Rates by Residence and Sex States Total Rural Urban Total Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Andhra Pradesh 32 31 33 36 35 36 23 22 25 Assam 44 41 46 46 44 49 21 21 22 Bihar 35 34 37 36 34 38 31 29 33 Chattisgarh 38 39 37 40 41 38 32 31 33 Delhi 16 17 16 12 16 8 16 17 16 Gujarat 30 30 30 36 36 35 22 20 23 Haryana 30 28 31 32 31 33 25 24 26 Himachal Pradesh 23 22 23 23 22 24 15 18 12 Jammu & Kashmir 23 22 23 24 24 24 19 17 21 Jharkhand 29 25 33 30 27 34 24 19 31 Karnataka 25 24 26 27 26 28 22 20 24 Kerala 10 9 10 9 9 10 10 10 11 Madhya Pradesh 47 48 45 51 52 49 32 34 29 Maharashtra 19 18 19 23 21 24 14 14 13 Odisha 41 40 41 42 42 42 32 32 33 Punjab 21 20 22 22 22 23 19 18 20 Rajasthan 38 37 40 42 40 43 28 26 30 Tamil Nadu 16 17 16 19 20 18 14 14 15 Telengana 29 28 29 33 33 32 23 21 25 Uttar Pradesh 41 39 43 44 42 45 33 28 38 Uttarakhand 32 35 29 33 38 28 30 29 32 West Bengal 24 23 24 24 24 24 22 21 24
  3. 3. India 33 32 34 37 36 37 23 22 25 Source: Sample Registration System (SRS), 2017 High infant mortality rates show the poor general health status of the country. Looking at the sex differentials in the mortality rates, the female infant mortality is higher than male infant mortality in many states even in the socially developed Kerala (Table 1).There is no big difference in male biased infant mortality between the rural and urban areas . If the female children are biologically stronger, this phenomenon shows the prevalence of female infant mortality due to negligence, poor health facilities or infanticide. Table 2 –Mortality Rate by Sex and Residence for 0-4 age (2017) States Total Rural Urban Total Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Andhra Pradesh 9.4 9.7 9.1 10.5 11.0 10.0 6.7 6.5 6.9 Assam 11.1 10.0 12.4 12.0 10.7 13.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Bihar 9.0 8.6 9.5 9.1 8.7 9.7 7.9 7.6 8.1 Chattisgarh 11.1 12.2 10.0 12.0 13.5 10.5 7.6 7.4 7.8 Delhi 4.6 4.3 4.8 4.0 5.7 2.1 4.6 4.3 4.9 Gujarat 8.4 8.3 8.5 10.4 10.7 10.1 5.5 4.9 6.1 Haryana 8.3 7.5 9.3 9.2 8.3 10.3 6.6 5.9 7.5 Himachal Pradesh 5.9 6.8 4.9 6.1 7.1 5.0 3.6 2.7 4.4 Jammu & Kashmir 5.7 5.8 5.5 6.3 6.6 6.1 3.9 3.6 4.1 Jharkhand 8.0 7.1 9.0 8.2 7.3 9.2 7.0 6.2 7.9 Karnataka 6.4 6.6 6.2 7.1 7.2 6.9 5.3 5.6 5.1 Kerala 2.4 2.5 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.5 2.7 2.4 Madhya Pradesh 13.8 14.3 13.4 15.6 16.2 15.0 7.8 8.0 7.6 Maharashtra 4.3 4.1 4.5 4.8 4.5 5.1 3.5 3.4 3.5 Odisha 11.1 11.3 11.0 11.9 12.2 11.6 7.0 6.5 7.6 Punjab 5.6 5.2 6.0 6.0 5.7 6.4 4.9 4.5 5.4 Rajasthan 10.8 10.2 11.4 11.6 11.0 12.3 7.8 7.4 8.2 Tamil Nadu 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.6 4.9 4.3 4.0 3.7 4.2 Telengana 8.6 8.6 8.6 11.1 11.2 11.0 5.6 5.6 5.6 Uttar Pradesh 13.1 12.3 14.1 13.7 13.1 14.3 10.9 8.9 13.4 Uttarkhand 5.8 6.3 5.3 6.1 6.6 5.5 5.1 5.4 4.8 West Bengal 5.6 5.5 5.7 5.8 5.8 5.8 4.9 4.6 5.2 India 8.9 8.7 9.2 10.0 9.8 10.2 6.0 5.6 6.5 Source: SRS, 2017.
  4. 4. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Haryana, Gujarat, Delhi, Bihar and Assam show more mortality among the girls. Urban India shows higher 0-4 female mortality in the Table 2. Table 3 Maternal Mortality Ratio (per 100000 births) in India and Some States STATES MMR Andhra Pradesh 92 Assam 300 Bihar 208 Gujarat 112 Haryana 127 Karnataka 133 Kerala 61 Madhya Pradesh 221 Maharashtra 68 Odisha 222 Punjab 141 Rajasthan 244 Tamil Nadu 79 Uttar Pradesh 285 West Bengal 113 India 167 Source: Special bulletin on maternal mortality in India, 2011-13, Registrar General of India In Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh the MMR is way higher than the national average. Except for Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu the rest of the states are close to national average. Table 4 Literacy Rate in India State/ Union Territory Total Male Female Kerala 94.0 96.1 92.1 Lakshadweep 91.8 95.6 87.9 Mizoram 91.3 93.3 89.3 Goa 88.7 92.6 84.7 Tripura 87.2 91.5 82.7 Daman & Diu 87.1 91.5 79.5 Andaman & Nicobar Island 86.6 90.3 82.4 Delhi 86.2 90.9 80.8
  5. 5. Chandigarh 86.0 90.0 81.2 Puducherry 85.8 91.3 80.7 Himachal Pradesh 82.8 89.5 75.9 Maharashtra 82.3 88.4 75.9 Sikkim 81.4 86.6 75.6 Tamil Nadu 80.1 86.8 73.4 Nagaland 79.6 82.8 76.1 Manipur 79.2 86.1 72.4 Uttrakhand 78.8 87.4 70.0 Gujarat 78.0 85.8 69.7 West Bengal 76.3 81.7 70.5 Dadra & Nagar Haveli 76.2 85.2 64.3 Punjab 75.8 80.4 70.7 Haryana 75.6 84.1 65.9 Karnataka 75.4 82.5 68.1 Meghalaya 74.4 76.0 72.9 Odisha 72.9 81.6 64.0 Assam 72.2 77.8 66.3 Chhattisgarh 70.3 80.3 60.2 Madhya Pradesh 69.3 78.7 59.2 Uttar Pradesh 67.7 77.3 57.2 Jammu & Kashmir 67.2 76.8 56.4 Andhra Pradesh 67.0 74.9 59.1 Jharkhand 66.4 76.8 55.4 Rajasthan 66.1 79.2 52.1 Arunachal Pradesh 65.4 72.6 57.7 Bihar 61.8 71.2 51.5 Source: SRS 2017 Invariably in all the states of India the female literacy rates are lower than the male literacy. Literacy rate is a social indicator of development and an important factor that influence health of the people. Table 5 Level wise Enrolment rate in India (Percentage to total) Level Male Female Primary (I to V) 51.8 48.2 Elementary (I to VIII) 51.7 48.3 High School (I to X) 51.8 48.2 Higher Secondary (11&12) 52.9 47.1 Ph D 59.3 40.7 MPhil 42.4 57.6 Post Graduation 48.5 51.5 Under Graduation 53.2 46.8 Diploma 71.3 28.7
  6. 6. All Higher Education 54.0 46.0 Source: Calculated from the data in Educational statistics at a glance -2016 Interestingly, except for PG and MPhil female enrollment is lower than males. Diploma enrolment is dominated by males. Conclusion . Women’s role and contribution to economic development of a country cannot be underestimated and has been well recognized and researched by eminent economists like Boserup. Good health in terms of social, physical and psychological factors is pre requisites for human efficiency. Health is wealth of not only individuals but is the real indicator of human and economic development of a country. Prevalence of specific mortalities and illiteracy shows poor health status of the society. This simple analysis shows a definite disadvantage in status for women than men in those lines. References Government of India, Ministry of HRD (2016) Educational Statistics at a Glance. Registrar General of India (2011, 2013, 2017), Census; Sample Registration System, Population Statistics of India. United Nations Organisation (2012 & 2019), World Health Statistics, Global Health Indicators, WHO. N.MEERA ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS GOVERNMENT ARTS COLLEGE COIMBATORE

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