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Gender Sensitization and development The Health perspective

Lt Col Jyothi S G Command Hospital (W C)

Topics covered
Key definitions Impact of gender discriminations on Physical health Mental health What can be done?

Definitions
Sex- identifies the biological differences

GENDER
Refers to the social differences between men and women that are learned, changeable over time and have wide variations within and between cultures. Is a socio-economic variable to analyse roles, responsibilities, constraints, opportunities and needs of men and women in any context.

GENDER AND SEX


GENDER refers to the socially defined roles and characteristics of men and women to the socially constructed relationship between men and women. SEX, on the other hand, refers to the biological characteristics of men and women. SEX GENDER Biological: Socially Constructed: Born with Not Born With

Therefore:
Cannot be changed Can be changed

Gender inequality
Refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals based on their gender. It arises from differences in socially constructed gender roles as well as biologically through chromosomes, brain structure, and hormonal differences

Effects of gender inequality on health


Health is an important factor that contributes to human wellbeing and economic growth. Women in India face a multitude of health problems, which ultimately affect the aggregate economys output.

Gender inequality
India stands at 132 out of 187 in terms of gender inequality internationally. women has lower likelihood of being literate, continuing their education and participating in the labour force Therefore, the high level of gender inequality in India negatively impacts the health of women.

Gender discrimination
Gender discrimination refers to the practice of granting or denying rights or privileges to a person based on their gender.

Gender discrimination
Begins before birth; Females are the most commonly aborted sex in India. If a female fetus is not aborted, the mothers pregnancy can be a stressful experience, due to her familys preference for a son. Once born, daughters are prone to being fed less than sons, especially when there are multiple girls already in the household..

Gender discrimination
As women mature into adulthood, many of the barriers preventing them from achieving equitable levels of health stem from the low status of women and girls in Indian society, particularly in the rural and poverty-affected areas

Gender sensitization
Gender sensitization refers to the modification of behaviour by raising awareness of gender equality concerns. Gender sensitizing "is about changing behavior and instilling empathy into the views that we hold about our own and the other gender. It helps people in "examining their personal attitudes and beliefs and questioning the 'realities' they thought they know."

Why women have less access?


Weaker bargaining power. Under report illness Mobility problem Breakdown well being approach Perceived interest Perceived contribution

Problems with health care in India


2/3rds of health care workers are men Urban rural divide Just 6% women HCW in rural India Belief in faith healers, quacks

Outcomes
Malnutrition and morbidity Breast cancer Reproductive health HIV/AIDS Abortion rights Cardio vascular health

Mental health
factors affecting Dependent on Male Older age, Low educational attainment, Fewer children in the home, Lack of paid employment /triple role Alcohol and drug use in men.

Mental health problems


Depression- twice more in women Domestic violence, work place harassment. Stress Suicide Schizophrenia Alcohol and drug abuse. Psycho somatic illness

Gender sensitization
Gender sensitizing "is about changing behavior and instilling empathy into the views that we hold about our own and the other gender. It helps people in "examining their personal attitudes and beliefs and questioning the 'realities' they thought they know."

Summary
Health of the nation is in precarious state. Which can be greatly improved by gender sensitizing. It is well known that India has best laws and policies framed but improper implementation and follow up is the crux of the issue.

Conclusion
Gender sensitization is not a war of sexes Not anti male Both women and men are victims Our collective values and beliefs are not yielding good result. Affecting our quality of life and next gen. So why not change for the better?

"Equality for women is progress for all."