Exploring Religious Discrimination Toward Women in Public Health Facilities in Mumbai
Volume 6, Issue 6, December 2017, Pages: 148-159
Received: Aug. 30, 2017;
Accepted: Nov. 16, 2017;
Published: Nov. 16, 2017
Views 1594 Downloads 75
Zamrooda Khanday, Consultant CEHAT-Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes, Mumbai Maharashtra, India
The rise in communally driven identity politics in India during the past two decades has led to an increasing number of communal flare-ups in the country, State institutions have been found to be complicit in many cases, raising questions on the secular nature of the state. In the two major instances of communal violence in the past two decades - the 1992-1993 Mumbai riots following the Babri Masjid demolition and the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat - the involvement of the police force has been explicitly noted by Judicial Enquiry Commissions as well as fact-finding reports. As with the police system, the health system too has displayed biases towards minority communities during communal riots. This departure from a neutral role in times of communal riots points to the extent to which communal elements have seeped into even the health machinery. In addition to this active bias and discrimination perpetrated during communal riots, we at CEHAT (Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes) hypothesize that discriminatory treatment by health facilities operates in times of peace as well, and women belonging to the minority community face such discrimination on a regular basis. Studies show that the experience of discrimination has an impact on people's health and sense of well-being. Discrimination by health care providers at health facilities results not only in poor health outcomes for vulnerable groups but also reduces compliance with treatment and serves as a barrier to accessing medical care. India is signatory to several human rights treaties that explicitly forbid prejudice and bias in the provision of services. By virtue of being a signatory to these human rights treaties, the Indian State is committed to provide health services and end all forms of discrimination in the health facilities. It therefore becomes important to understand the overt and covert functioning of religious based discrimination in the area of health. Health professionals and health systems need to recognize that women face multiple forms of discrimination based on caste, class and community and therefore take additional steps to ensure unbiased delivery of services.
Exploring Religious Discrimination Toward Women in Public Health Facilities in Mumbai, Social Sciences.
Vol. 6, No. 6,
2017, pp. 148-159.
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Medico Friend Circle (2002). Carnage in Gujarat: A Public Health Crisis. Pune: Medico Friend Circle.
CEHAT Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes.
Rajinder Sachar Committee (2006). Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community in India. Retrieved from, http://www.tigweb.org/action-tools/ projects/download/24017/Sachar%20Report%20on%20Status%20of%20 Indian%20MuslimsThe%20Rajinder%20Sachar%20Committee.doc.
Benkert & Peters, African American women's coping with health care prejudice. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0193945905278588.
Engineer, Asghar Ali. (ed.) (1991). Communal Riots in Post Independence India. (2nd ed.). Hyderabad: Sangam Books.
Kuldip Nayar.1984, “Caste and Communal Violence”, in Asghar Ali Engineer (ed.), Communal Violence in Post -Independence India, Ne Delhi: Sangam Books.
Desai, A. R. (1991). Caste and communal violence in the post partition Indian Union. In Engineer, Asghar Ali. (ed.) Communal Riots in Post Independence India. (2nd ed., pp. 10-32). Hyderabad: Sangam Books.
Ministry of Home Affairs (2005). Justice Nanavati Commission Of Inquiry (1984 Anti-Sikh Riots). New Delhi: MHA. Retrieved from, http://www.mha.nic.in/ hindi/sites/upload_files/mhahindi/files/pdf/Nanavati-I_eng.pdf.
Shri Krishna, B. N. (1998). Report of the Sri Krishna Commission: An Inquiry into the riots at Mumbai during December 1992 and January 1993. Mumbai: Mumbai High Court.
Khan, Sameera (2007, April 28). Negotiating the Mohalla Exclusion, Identity and Muslim Women in Mumbai. Economic and Political Weekly, 42 (17). 1527-1533.
Deosthali, Padma and Madhiwala, Neha (2005). In these uncertain times: the impact of industrial decline on the lives and health of women living in slums in Mumbai. in Padmini Swaminathan (ed.) Trapped into living: Women's Work Environment and their Perceptions of Health. Mumbai: CEHAT.
Menon, Meena. (2012) Riots and after in Mumbai: Chronicles of Truth and Reconciliation, SAGE Publications India, New Delhi.
Chhachhi A “Forced identities: the state, communalism, fundamentalism and women in India.” In: Women, Islam, and the state, edited by Deniz Kandiyoti. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Temple University Press, 1991.
Kothari, M. and Contractor, N. (1996). Planned Segregation: riots, evictions and dispossession in Jogeshwari East, Mumbai. Navi Mumbai: Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA).
Minority-Essays on Muslim Women in India, Zoya Hasan, Ritu Menon Oxford University Press, 2005.
Vissandjee, B.; Barlow, R. and Fraser, D. W. (1997). Utilization of health services among rural women in Gujarat, India. Public Health, 111 (3). 135-148.
Khanna, R. (2008). Communal violence in Gujarat, India: Impact of sexual violence and responsibilities of the health care system. Reproductive Health Matters, 16 (31). 142-52.
Physicians for Human Rights. (2003). The Right to Equal Treatment: An Action Plan to End Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Clinical Treatment and Diagnosis in the United States. Massachusetts: Physicians for Human Rights.
Robinson, Rowena (2005): Tremors of Violence: Muslim Survivors of Ethnic Strife in Western India. New Delhi: Sage.
Khanday, Zamrooda & Tanwar, Yavnika. (2013). Exploring Religion based Discrimination in Health Facilities in Mumbai. Mumbai: CEHAT.