Some 64% of Indians think that the main job of the women is to be good mothers and wives. India ranks third in having this traditional view about women’s roles after Indonesia and Russia. Though many Indian women are career oriented these days, but still the society considers working outside the home is a secondary role for women and their primary roles are as a mother and a wife. Society does not accept the women to win praises at work by neglecting their domestic duties.
Our culture had a deep rooted concept of marrying off the lady by the time she was 22 years of age. We boosted of being the third largest economy in Asia but forgot that we had the world’s largest child brides.
Slowly this ancient culture of India is changing of women being looked upon as a –‘door mat; an instrument of progeny’ and today men are sharing domestic work. 81% of men believe that both women and men must share home duties.
In spite of all these developments Indian women’s health is neglected mainly because of lack of awareness of health services, male dominated society and delaying going to the doctor when needed.
Indian women have high mortality rates, during childhood and in their productive years. The health of Indian women is linked to their status in the society. In India preference is given to a son as parents believe they will be looked after by the son as they age, whereas for daughters they need to give a huge dowry. So Indian women have less of everything education, health, treatment by parents. In Childhood they are under the control of their fathers, then husbands and finally under the sons. All these factors have a negative impact on women’s health.
Women with poor health give birth to infants whose weight is less, these women cannot take care of their children’s well being, they cannot work outside the home for long hours and hence their life style also gets affected.
The general health problems faced by indian women are as follows:
Women generally face heavy bleeding during menses this likely worsens as they age. They experience painful menstrual periods and ovulation bleeding and pain. Those who have this problem the quality of their lives also suffer. They may not discharge their duties at home and at office satisfactorily. Girls their education and academic achievements get affected. Early diagnosis, counseling and treatment can help them to improve their quality of life.
2. Varginal discharge
This includes Bacterial overgrowth in the vagina; Trichomoniasis—a sexually transmitted infection; a Vaginal yeast infection- in the vagina and the tissue at the opening of the vagina; Vaginitis—this causes an inflammation of the vagina, discharge, itching and pain; Chlamydia—a common sexually transmitted infection. Consult your doctor for treatment at the earliest.
3. Breast pain
This occurs because of wearing a tight bra, pregnancy, menstruation, breast feeding or exercise, during ovulation, a mass in the breast, nipple discharge, breast cancer, during menopause. As all these problems are uncertain early detection and consulting a doctor helps.
4. Urinary tract infection
UTI is a very common problem in women and often recurs. It’s common in infants, the elderly and pregnant women. A doctor advice a urine culture, radiographic evaluation and a therapy.
5. Difficulty in conceiving
Female infertility is a major concern world -wide. It can be sexually transmitted or tubal factor infertility or pelvic inflammatory disease. This problem creates cost burden to the patients and a major psychological stress for couples. Timely consultation helps to overcome it and the burden infertility can reduce.
6. Fibroids (uterine leiomyomata)
Is a common benign problem in the reproductive age for a woman. It disturbs the physical and mental well-being of women. Fibroids increase as women age, 80% of women experience it mainly before menopause, obesity, early menarche are some of the factors. Treatment is given depending on the patient’s age, symptoms and desire to conceive.
7. Pelvic inflammatory
This is when there is an inflammation in the upper genital tract due to an infection in women. The disease affects the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. This can also be a sexually transmitted infection. It can be treated clinically. Early treatment can be started by taking a few laboratory tests, ultrasound or a CT scan and so on.
8. Polycyctic ovary syndrome
This happens on account of menstrual irregularity, obesity, diabetes can occur even before puberty. A careful history, physical examination and diagnostic testing is done and treated. Several therapeutic treatments are available to manage and treat the disease.
Women health-care takers
Women who don many responsible hats are also health care providers in India. They can play an important role in educating the society to recognize their health and nutritional needs. They can help other women and men to have healthy lifestyle choices and reduce the health-related problems among Indian women.
Women health workers have contributed greatly to the Indian community for many years. In India, women physicians have started hospitals not only in cities but also in remote villages to serve the poor and the suffering. If these health caretakers receive encouragement can improve the health of women and children.
In India community health care lies mainly with women. With their competence and experience a few of them have become physicians, health project directors, and administrators because India is still a patriarchal society. So women need to be encouraged, empowered and ensured with equal opportunities for training and promotion and equal wages for equal work should be provided.
People must identity customs, practices, laws, attitudes, religious misrepresentations and policies that discriminate against women and oppose them.
Changes should start from home, in villages, from districts to national and to global levels. In India a woman is blamed for giving birth to a girl forgetting that man’s chromosome determines the sex of the child. Today slowly this concept is changing and a girl child is also being welcomed in a family. Now female infanticide is banned, sex determination tests are also banned. Property rights are legalized equally for men and women and various organizations, media promote women’s empowerment.
More awareness and knowledge should spread then the health of Indian women will improve by leaps and bounds.