Women's Health and Healthcare Accessibility: A Study Among Kuki Indigenous Group in India

Monday, July 14, 2014: 12:00 PM
Room: F205
Distributed Paper
Ruth NENGNEILHING , School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, NEW DELHI, IA, India
Understanding women’s health is often limited in the context of women’s child bearing functions which only reflects a fragmented view of women’s health and women’s bodies. It almost neglects the socio cultural matrix in which women’s ills develop such as the milieu of poverty, patriarchy, and other life stresses. Similar is the case with the Kuki women, indigenous group in India, whose health concerns are compromised with several confounding factors such as poverty, overwork, and social inequality. The conceptual framework of this paper is within the social model of health theory embracing the context of health and illness beyond the biological model. The barrier to attain maximum utilization of healthcare by the Kuki women is the result of the interplay of many factors whereby the socio-economic, religion, political and cultural factors are being considered in the study. The main objective of is to dwell on these underlying issues that pertain to women’s health reflecting on Kuki women. The paper also attempts to explore the prevalent healthcare services and its limitations to women’s health care needs. One fifty women were selected for the study through systematic random sampling. The method of study is exploratory in nature and the source of data collection is based on observation and interviews. While both men and women suffer the consequences of an inequitable system and maldistribution of resources, evidently unequal burdens of domestic labor, discrimination in the allocation of household resources, constraints on women’s capacity to determine their own sexuality and procreativity, inequalities in waged work and political power. The paper contests that the improvement in the economic, political, cultural, and educational and health status of Kuki women will contribute to improvements and elevation in the life conditions of the society in large.