Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 392
Cultural Dimension of Women’s Health across
Social Groups in Chennai
Illness and related problems are major issues for a substantial part of India’s population, at any time. Comparatively, women appear to have more health problems than men, and this continues to increase across regions in the country. Variations occur to a considerable extent due to their conditions of life. Poorer people are not only more vulnerable to illnesses, but they suffer more often from illnesses, and also have more of related problems of economic wherewithal to support themselves when they are ill. The health belief model has been used to understand the perceptions of health, and health behaviour among women. 75 married women were interviewed, 43 from poor families, and 32 from middle class families, during June to October 2015 in Chennai. These women, by and large, had a weak perception of their illnesses, in the sense that they did not think they needed immediate health care. This also resulted in a longer time that they remained sick.