Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health

EDITORIAL COMMENTARY
Year
: 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 527--528

Aiming to target gender barriers for improving the health and welfare standards of girls


Saurabh R Shrivastava, Prateek S Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy 
 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur, Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India




How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Aiming to target gender barriers for improving the health and welfare standards of girls.Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:527-528


How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Aiming to target gender barriers for improving the health and welfare standards of girls. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 15 ];10:527-528
Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/3/527/213171


Full Text

Dear Editor,

Amidst the global rise in the proportion of youth people in different parts of the world, and considering the fact that they are the future of the next generation, it is of extreme importance to deliver health services in a youth-friendly manner.[1] The so called youth-friendly services not only comprises of provision of quality information to avoid exposure to potential risk factors, but even includes appropriate management of their ailments and service delivery in response to the felt needs in an easily accessible, equitable, effective and acceptable manner.[1],[2]

Moreover, delivering health services to young people is a crucial strategy as even though, it is considered a healthy stage of life, it is also the time when individuals are exposed to high-risk behaviors, development of lifestyles, and morbidities or mortalities due to violence or reproductive and sexual health related problems.[2],[3] It is very important to understand that health care services cannot be termed as youth-friendly, if any, sub-group is given less importance on the basis of their gender or any other parameter.[2],[4] Especially with regard to gender, though gender-equality has attracted attention in all the important formulated global development goals, even now many of the nations are struggling to even begin progress towards gender equality by neutralizing the existing barriers.[2],[3],[4]

Infact, even in Moldova, a developed European nation, girls are of the strong opinion that due to the existing gender inequality or gender discrimination, they have minimal chance to have a better health, career or a stable job, both of which are very much possible for a boy to have.[3],[4],[5] The findings of the national study have indicated that in excess of 90% and 80% of men and women were of the opinion that domestic work is the primary responsibility of a woman, while 6 out of 10 participants from both genders opined that once a woman starts working, she occupies a spot meant for a man.[5]

Further, more than 40% of men opined that a woman needs to be beaten, and as a matter of shock even 20% of women agreed to the same.[5]

Moving forward, most of the young people in the nation have limited exposure to appropriate, adequate and correct sexual and reproductive health information through reliable sources.[3],[4] Thus, they often indulge in high-risk behaviors, and are just left alone to deal with these practical concerns alone.[3] Further, these problems increase exponentially for vulnerable group of children like those who have been left behind by migrant parents.[4] Owing to the fact that, by ensuring comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), not only, the risk of acquisition of sexually transmitted infections or unplanned pregnancies can be minimized, but even awareness pertaining to human rights and gender equality can be created, to minimize the role of gender-based violence.[3],[4],[5]

Indeed, the United Nations Population Fund has realized the gravity of the issue, and is advocating for the introduction of CSE in the school curriculum in the nation.[5] At the same time, it is supporting a youth networking program to improve access of young people to sexual and reproductive health information with the help of trainers.[5] Further, many youth-friendly health centers have been established to provide counseling, family planning or other medical services to young people to empower them to take informed decisions about their sexuality and health.[4],[5]

To conclude, significant disparities persist in the health status and other aspects of access to health care due to the prevailing gender inequality. However, to obtain a significant and sustained improvement, the need of the hour is to target young people at the earliest possible level before they develop their attitude with regard to gender roles in the society.

Acknowledgement

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Working together to accomplish gender equality in health: World Health Organization. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:286-7.
2Goicolea I, Christianson M, Hurtig AK, Marchal B, San Sebastian M, Wiklund M. Searching for best practices of youth friendly services-a study protocol using qualitative comparative analysis in Sweden. BMC Health Serv Res 2016;16:321.
3Carai S, Bivol S, Chandra-Mouli V. Assessing youth-friendly-health-services and supporting planning in the Republic of Moldova. Reprod Health 2015;12:98.
4Chandra-Mouli V, Baltag V, Ogbaselassie L. Strategies to sustain and scale up youth friendly health services in the Republic of Moldova. BMC Public Health 2013;13:284.
5UNFPAGirls call for tearing down gender barriers in Moldova; 2016. Available from: http://www.unfpa.org/news/girls-call-tearing-down-gender-barriers-moldova. [Last accessed on 2016 August 4].