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Women Empowerment

(Vol. 16, No. 2, April-June, 2018) ISSN 0973 – 8444
Reproductive Health Concerns of Rural Meo-Muslim Women from Haryana
Bindiya Narang1 & Zubair Meenai2
1Post Doctoral Fellow, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi - 25(India). Email - bindiyababbar@yahoo.com, Mob. – 9810440829
2Professor, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia. New Delhi - 25 (India)
 
Abstract: Women empowerment and improving the agency of empowerment is crucial to achieving a multitude of health and development outcomes. In this light, giving prominence to women’s own sociocultural perspectives and existing healthcare seeking behaviour and practices is imperative to address their typical health needs. The present paper echoes the reproductive health concerns of Meomuslim women based on an ethnographic study carried out in a village in Haryana, India. A constructivist approach has been employed to analyse and understand women’s shared meanings and subjective viewpoints on issues pertaining to puberty and menstruation; marriage, and fertility; contraception and family planning; pregnancy and child birth. Data for the study was primarily drawn through key informant interviews, focus group discussions and individual in-depth interviews with purposively selected women respondents in the age group of 15-49 years. The findings that figured prominently were incidence of early marriage, limited inter-spousal communication, negligent usage of any kind of contraceptives, multiple and closely spaced pregnancies, poor awareness on menstrual hygiene and frequent reproductive tract infections. It was recognized that in this traditional, patriarchal community, most of the women were reticent and secretive about their reproductive health needs, which were beleaguered by a plethora of contextual marginalities as well as preconceived sociocultural-religious norms and beliefs, all embedded in the web of gender specific vulnerabilities.
 
Keywords: Reproductive health, Women Empowerment, Healthcare, Meo-muslim, Haryana
 
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