Overworked and Underfed

Discrimination of any sort has far reaching consequences on society... A fact that we are learning, but slowly. The unacceptably large percentage of our population that remains outside the pale, so to speak- with no real franchise, no real say, and for some, no real stakes in our social system- drags us all down.

Manoranjan Pal, Premananda Bharati, T. S. Vasulu and Bholanath Ghosh of the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata take a new look at the problem of discrimination against women in their recent book from OUP, Gender and Discrimination: Health, Nutritional Status, and Role of Women in India.

"Gender discrimination has far reaching consequences on society. the essays in this volume critically investigate the economic, social, religious, and psychological aspects of women in every sphere of life, and suggest how we can measure the inherent inequalities.

This volume shows that there exist pronounced inequalities between men and women with respect to wages, ownership of properties, opportunities in education, professional careers, job opportunities, and several other indicators. A study of wage disparity between men and women finds that the labour market is highly sex-segregated; while cultural reasons restrict women’s access to work, their freedom to participate in the formal economy is even more curtailed. At a micro-level analysis of intra-household discrimination, it is observed that differences in resource allocation between male and female members often lead to differences in health status.

Case studies from India and other South Asian countries emphasize dominant nutritional and health disorders among women and children. The volume concludes with the methodological aspects of gender discrimination and gender inequality measures that are significant especially in the context of rural areas."

The various essays address issues that include (En)gendering Poverty Policy in India, Women and Agriculture, Gender, Religion, and the Age at Marriage, Invisibility and Ordeal of Women, discrimination against Girl Children, the Role of Maternal literacy, Gender, Poverty, and HIV Transmission, Differences in Early Childhood Feeding, Health and Nutritional Status of School Age Children, Bias in Family Planning Programmes, Gender Bias in Mortality.

Issues that are of vital importance for us all. In our Public Health and Gender Sections, hardcover, 352 pages. ISBN: 9780198060291

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