Role of Globalisation in Women’s Health: A Key Issue

Neelesh Pandey


The health of Indian women is intrinsically linked to their status in society. Research on women’s status has found that the contributions Indian women make to families often are overlooked, and instead they are viewed as economic burdens. There is a strong son preference in India, as sons are expected to care for parents as they age. This son preference, along with high dowry costs for daughters, sometimes results in the mistreatment of daughters. Further, Indian women have low levels of both education and formal labor force participation. They typically have little autonomy, living under the control of first their fathers, then their husbands, and finally their son. All of these factors exert a negative impact on the health status of Indian women. Poor health has repercussions not only for women but also their families. Women in poor health are more likely to give birth to low weight infants. They also are less likely to be able to provide food and adequate care for their children. Finally, a woman’s health affects the household economic well-being, as a woman in poor health will be less productive in the labor force. While women in India face many serious health concerns, this profile focuses on only five key issues: reproductive health, violence against women, nutritional status, unequal treatment of girls and boys, and HIV/AIDS. Because of the wide variation in cultures, religions, and levels of development among India’s 25 states and 7 union territories, it is not surprising that women’s health also varies greatly from state to state. To give a more detailed picture, data for the major states will be presented whenever possible. The discrimination against the girl child is systematic and pervasive enough to manifest in many demographic measures for the country. For the country as a whole as well as its rural areas, the infant mortality rate is higher for females in comparison to that for males. Usually, though not exclusively, it is in the northern and western states that the female infant mortality rates are higher, a difference of ten points between the two sexes specific rates not being uncommon.


Globalization, Women, Health Service, Health Information

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