Kashmiri women face 5 major health issues, says study

SRINAGAR: Women in Kashmir face five major healthcare issues, according to a latest study.
It identified family planning, female foeticide, sex ratio and maternal mortality among the major issues.
These issues were identified by 600 women respondents from four main districts of the Valley—Srinagar, Baramulla, Kupwara and Anantnag.
“Small family size has become a norm of the society and is being accepted as one of the modern practices to attain a standard living,” says the study titled ‘A sociological study of gender healthcare and conflict in Kashmir’ and conducted by prominent sociologist Prof BA Dabla over last two years.
Majority of the respondents have recommended proper legislative measures along with awareness and counseling to combat such issues so as to bring social control in the society.
Despite being banned, female foeticide as per the study is still being practiced at many places, though illegally. This is acknowledged by a large number of respondents including both general and professional category.
“Even if (a) case of female foeticide occurs, people usually do not report about it. Private and unregistered clinics are mainly responsible for carrying out such operations,” the study says.
Considering maternal mortality as one of the major health issues amongst the women, the study blames inadequate facilities and weak referral system.
“Inadequate healthcare facilities for women and unavailability of maternal hospitals are the biggest reasons for rising maternal mortality in Kashmir,” the study reads.
Dr Dabla blames ‘cultural restrictions’ for generating gender bias due to which women are less cared. “We wanted to see the perception of women on these issues, and I may conclude that to overcome cultural restrictions, gender specialization treatment is needed. The need of gender healthcare system is in both rural as well as urban areas of the Valley,” Dr Dabla told Kashmir Reader.