Gender Roles and Women’s Health in India

Hannah P. Gorski, Akiko Kamimura, Maziar M. Nourian, Nushean Assasnik, Lindsey Wright, Kathy Franckek-Roa


One of the main determinants of the poor health status among women in India is a women’s disadvantaged gender role. This study aims to identify the factors that affect women’s health, and particularly focuses on women’s ability to make decisions in a family concerning health-related issues and education. The data are from the India Human Development Survey-II (IHDS-II), 2011-12 (ICPSR 36151), which includes nationally representative samples across India. Women who have more decision making power within a family had better self-reported health. Women who are more educated have better self-reported health. Self-reported women's health status was dependent on the rank of castes to which the women belonged. Our results suggest that decision-making power and education play a key role in improving the health outcomes for women in India. Health promotion programs for women in India should include a platform for gender roles and decision-making capacity.

Keywords: women’s health; gender roles; decision-making power; India

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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