Conceptualizing Gender Equity in Indian Health Care System



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University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work


Ensuring gender equity in access to basic services has remained an enduring challenge in the political economy of social policy development in most nation states. In India, an analysis of the problem of lack of access to basic services like health care assumes significant complexity, as poverty interplays with structural inequities arising out of caste, class and gender. Gender based differences are not unique to India as they have been the fundamental characteristic of most human societies and they impact all aspects of an individual’s political, socio-cultural , economic and intra-psychic life (Chafetz,1990). However, gender based discrimination has existed in the fabric of the Indian social system for a very long time and has adversely affected women’s development. Gender inequity in access to basic services, stems from the way the gender roles ascribed by society impact the way resources and rights are distributed amongst men and women. Therefore, inequity in health care access is also characterized by the way resources are allocated, distributed and utilized by men and women in India (Thukral, 2002).



Ankita Deka, Perspectives on Social Work, India, Social Policy, Perspectives on Social Work, India, Social policy