Our efforts are focused to fight against underlying causes of poverty, building secure and resilient communities and ensuring a life of dignity for all women and girls from the most marginalized and vulnerable communities, especially among Dalits and Adivasis.
It is indeed unfortunate that a welfare state, founded on the principles of equality, social justice and democracy should display such inequities in health and access to health care. It is the ‘usual suspects’- rural India, the women’s, children’s, the lower castes (especially the scheduled castes), the scheduled tribes, the less developed states and regions of India, that show poor health status and restricted access to healthcare. Women’s health needs are numerous- nutrition, general morbidity, reproductive health, disability, mental health, occupational health,—and are interrelated.
Further needs are:
1. Adoption of comprehensive and gender sensitive primary healthcare to address women’s diverse health needs and to overcome the many limitations that they experience in accessing healthcare.
2. Strengthen public healthcare.
3. Provisions for financial support during childbirth so as to promote the health of mother social security for unorganised workers must include childcare provisions from the point of view of women workers.
4. Provisions aimed at ensuring protection and promotion of nutritional needs of mother and child must be included such as time breaks for nursing once the mother rejoins work.
5. Women’s should be protected from domestic violence, physical and sexual abuse.
6. More and more anganwadi centres and ICDS centres should be established especially in tribal and rural areas to prevent the children’s and women’s from malnutrition.
7. There is a need to provide the easily accessible, affordable healthcare services for these groups to improve their health indicators.
8. The bias in the distribution of health care facilities and services between the states as well as between the rural and urban areas should be removed.
9. Social security for migrants working in the unorganised sectors is important which can help them during the time of diseases, injuries and other kinds of ailments.
10. Sexual harassment and violence at the workplace is a threat faced by all women workers. Social security for unorganised workers must ensure that complaint and redressal mechanisms against sexual harassment at the workplace following the Vishakha guidelines are put in place, keeping in mind the specific concerns of unorganised women workers.
11. Increase public awareness on the right to health of the vulnerable groups and engage in community education and mobilization.
12. Review the health information and services that are available to protect the health of the poor, vulnerable or otherwise disadvantaged groups, including their quality, accessibility, affordability and acceptability.
13. Identify disadvantaged/marginalized groups; their health status and needs in different situations.
14. Children are the future of any nation, and large number of children in the workforce at present implies fewer educated or skilled workers in the future. A high percentage of child labour also implies the loss of welfare in society, as more young children have to enter the labour market. This should be removed.
15. Identify the unmet need, particularly those resulting from adverse discrimination. Examine the curricula of medical and other health professional training schools and advocate for the inclusion of health and human rights of vulnerable groups in medical education.
16. States should enable women to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including their sexual and reproductive health, free from coercion, lack of information, discrimination and violence.
17. There should be proper implementation of laws regarding the health of these marginalized groups.