Women in India do not enjoy their full reproductive rights. Highlight the interventions adopted to remove these barriers.

Reproductive health & choices are an important component of fundamental rights to life & personal liberty of women, under Article 21 as ruled by the Supreme Court in a recent judgement.

Despite above fundamental right, there exist barriers to its realization:

  • Inadequacy of healthcare infrastructure – Doctor/population ratio is below WHO recommended 1:1000. Also PHC/population ratio is also low.
  • Lack of awareness among families about importance of institutional deliveries.
  • Orthodox attitude leading to vaccine resistance, etc.
  • Patriarchal societal norms leading to early marriage & childbirth among women, leading to high rate of undernourishment and anaemia.
  • Societal practices like women eating last.
  • Lack of access to safe contraceptives.

Interventions to remove above barriers:

  • Nutrition support – Reproductive Maternal, Neonatal & adolescent health schemes focussing on nutrition of women & children, like Poshan Abhiyan.
  • Financial incentives to promote right behaviour. E.g., PM Matra Vandana Yojna to compensate for wages loss and provide adequate rest.
  • Conditional cash transfer based on 1st dose of vaccines.
  • Behaviour change approaches – Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Abhiyan, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna to encourage delayed marriage, etc.
  • Scholarships for girl students to promote higher education. E.g., Kiran Yojna.
  • Enhanced access to contraceptives via ASHA and schemes like Antara & Chhaya Yojna.

A comprehensive set of interventions are needed from societal and institutional to financial, to promote better reproductive health in women.

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