Tuesday, 8 March 2011
In Bangladesh, no healthcare say for women
Bangladesh's women still cannot make critical healthcare decisions on which their lives and future depend, experts say.
They also say a lack of effective policy twined with insensitiveness of the men towards their health concerns are widening the gender gap that has fatally deprived women of access to healthcare.
An ICDDR,B qualitative study found mothers at the bottom of the family priority list for healthcare. Daughter is just ahead of them while sons and husbands top the list.
Pregnant mothers are often too late in seeing doctors with pregnancy-related complications because they need to wait for their husbands or in-laws to make decisions.
On top of that, they have far less access to mass media than men, according to Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS). It means women have relatively less knowledge about serious diseases like tuberculosis, HIV, and cancer and family planning.
Some 45 percent women have no regular access to mass media compared to only 20 percent of men, the findings showed. "Women are marginalised in the men-dominated social structure," said Ruchira Tabassum Naved, head of ICDDR,B's Gender, Health and Human Rights Programme.
She told the problem was so ingrained in Bangladeshi society that things would not change for the better if the social structure was overhauled.