ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by T K Sundari RavindranSubscribe to T K Sundari Ravindran

Pro-Poor Maternity Benefit Schemes and Rural Women

A cross-sectional study based on women benefi ciaries under the Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefi t Scheme in fi ve districts of Tamil Nadu shows that scheduled caste and landless women in the sample were disadvantaged in receiving benefi ts. Overall, only one-fourth of the women who delivered fi rst or second order births in the sample received monetary assistance under the scheme.

Addressing Domestic Violence within Healthcare Settings

Women experiencing violence most often decide to seek legal action only after the violence has escalated and that too without having any documentary evidence. The Dilaasa crisis centres at two public hospitals in Mumbai since 2001 have been established out of the recognition that the public health system is an important site for the implementation of anti-domestic violence intervention programmes. The crisis centres therefore straddle both discourses of public health and gender. The paper offers critical insights into the model and its impact in terms of its ability to reach out to women who are undergoing abuse and offer them multiple services in one setting.

Gender in the HLEG Report

Apart from referring to gender concerns in its chapters addressing critical areas of the healthcare system, the High Level Expert Group's report on Universal Health Coverage for India has a separate chapter on gender and health. While the report as a whole and this chapter make several sound suggestions, what comes through is that much more could have been done. In the absence of a gender and health analysis framework, the report tends to address gender issues in an ad hoc and uneven fashion.

Public-Private Partnerships in Maternal Health Services

In recent years public-private partnerships have been offered as the miracle-cure that would help fix all the challenges to the health sector. Over the last decade, a number of ppps providing maternal health services have come into existence but few have been evaluated. This paper examines whether ppps with the for-profit private sector which provide maternal health services have contributed or are likely to contribute to making quality maternal health services accessible at affordable prices to the poor and marginalised sections of the population, as envisaged by policymakers. The limited evidence indicates that they have not increased either availability or physical access to services for a vast majority of women living in rural areas. The investment of substantial government and donor resources in ppps without robust evidence on their contribution to reduction of maternal mortality does not appear justified.

Female Autonomy in Tamil Nadu

Commentators on Tamil Nadu's rapid fertility decline during the eighties often cite female autonomy and 'agency' as important contributing factors. This paper examines the extent of female autonomy Tamil women enjoy in their personal lives and within their households and the gender power dynamics between married couples, on the basis of a study in five districts of the state.

Users Perspectives on Fertility Regulation Methods

Regulation Methods T K Sundari Ravindran STUDIES show that in several countries, a relatively low contraceptive prevalence coexists with an 'unmet need' for fertility control. According to the World Fertility Survey (WFS), 19 per cent of women in Bangladesh and 16 per cent of women in Philippines wanted no more children, but were not practising family planning. This was not because of lack of information since 84 and 94 per cent of the women knew of at least one modern method of contraception. 1 The WFS estimate docs not include the need for spacing and is therefore an underestimate of the extent of unmet need for fertility regulation services. Another study which takes both needs into account, covering six countries including Bangladesh and Thailand in Asia, estimates that 79 per cent of women in Bangladesh who were currently not in need of contraception (because of pregnancy, lactation or abstinence) were likely to need it in the following year, and of these, 67 per cent would probably not have their needs met.2How does one explain this paradox: women have an unmet need and family planning services have a low or not so high utilisation? What are the barriers to women's access to fertility regulation technologies and services?

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