Women are becoming increasingly represented in all types of migratory movements and this draws our attention to gender specific interstate migration. In recent times, India has seen increase in the migration of women from rural to urban areas. The prime reasons for male migration remain employment and business, but migration for women has eventually resulted in gender impacts of poverty and health. High population densities and contact rates spread disease, while health and education services are often inadequate.
This paper highlights gender dimensions pertaining to health as experienced during migration, displacement and disaster. It broadly covers the case of tribals, internally displaced women and those in conflict zone. When forced to migrate women and girls are disproportionately affected by risks of migration also because of their vulnerability to exploitation and violence. Neo-natal mortality is of critical concern. Greater vulnerability of women to sexual abuse places them at risk of STDs, HIV, and a whole range of post-traumatic stress disorders associated with sexual violence. Reproductive health often goes unprotected and uncared for even in well organized refugee and migrant situations. The insensitivity of health care system to the needs of such women goes unnoticed. This neglect of maternal and child health has resulted in life threatening conditions.
The paper unfolds gender disparities that cause major health implications and need to be immediately addressed. The Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 target towards bringing down MMR to 70, IMR to 12, child mortality rate to 25 and universal health coverage to all. To achieve these goals, mapping health deprivations and health monitoring of migrant women located in a wide range of geographic and development zones is important. Social assessments should be conducted state-wise, through a separate IEC research cell with careful planning using modern and traditional methods of motivation and communication. The RCH Programme of the NRHM is using improved management through capacity building, monitoring and innovation in human resource management. The government has to thrust on training and education of medical staff with attractive pay packages and better medical facilities in tribal and rural areas. Civil society organizations and corporates can significantly leverage corporate social responsibility towards efficacy of health care for migrant women.
Cite this article:
Heena K. Bijli. Migrant and Displaced Women: Gender Dimensions and Crucial Issues for Promoting Health. Int. J. Rev. and Res. Social Sci. 2018; 6(1): 15-24. doi: 10.5958/2454-2687.2018.00004.7