Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 379
Ill-Health Experience of Women: A Gender Perspective
This review paper examines the ill-health experience of women, and whether it has been adequately explored in a socio-cultural context from a gender perspective. A deeper understanding of the wide range of literature about the ill-health of women highlights three issues. Firstly, in spite of the increasing concern over women’s health in India, their exposure to illness is greater due to various social conditions in which gender is a predominant phenomenon. Secondly, women living in a rigid system of cultural norms and lacking strong economic background are exposed to extremely poor health. Thirdly, the ill-health experience of women increases in a relative context but disparities continue to persist between caste and class groups. These issues are explored by using gender as a category to understand the health differences across social groups, but not in the context of the changing pattern of gender relations between the agency and social structure.