Women's status and health of two ethnic groups inhabiting a periurban habitat of Kolkata City, India: a micro-level study.


We studied the interrelationship of women's status in terms of socioeconomic inequality and its effect on women's health at micro level between two ethnic groups in a periurban area of Kolkata City, India. One-hundred twenty-seven women who belong to a tribal population (Munda) and 174 women who belong to a caste population (Poundrakshatriya) participated in this study. We found significant differences between various (socioeconomic, demographic, diet intake, and body mass index [BMI] factors among the two ethnic groups that indicated a better situation for the Pod women. The number of live births, dietary intake and BMI of the women of the two ethnic groups varied differentially among socioeconomic factors, such as women's education and working pattern and poverty level of the household, which are the most recognized measures of women's status. Thus, the diverse socioeconomic status in various cultural groups in traditional Indian societies reflects a more complex situation of women's status and their health. Different factors were responsible for the differential health status of women, which is culture and location specific. Women who are more educated and employed are not necessarily more healthy, since poverty remains an integral factor, base on which literacy and employment status of women in India is determined. Furthermore, suppression of women is rooted in the very fabric of the Indian society, in tradition, in religious doctrine and practices, within the educational systems, and within the families. Along with education, therefore, income-generating schemes for the women of the economically deprived population should be strengthened to bring equality in overall health status of a region that consists of diverse cultural populations with vast economic disparity.

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@article{Ghosh2005WomensSA, title={Women's status and health of two ethnic groups inhabiting a periurban habitat of Kolkata City, India: a micro-level study.}, author={Rohini Ghosh and Premananda Bharati}, journal={Health care for women international}, year={2005}, volume={26 3}, pages={194-211} }