The Sociology of South Asian Women's Health (Hardcover)
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- Chapter 1
Chapter 2South Asian Women's Health Behaviour: Theoretical Explanations Sara Rizvi Jafree Deepti SastryIt is imperative to consider theoretical explanations that provide a premise for the health behaviour of South Asian women. This chapter relies on using western theories and the available South Asian theories to explain health behaviour of women. One of the reasons for South Asian theory lagging behind Western theory is because indigenous researchers have been reluctant to develop philosophical models and suffer persecution from male dominated community notables, religious leaders, and politicians. Multiple theories are used to explain the different health behaviours and choices of South Asian women, as the range of behaviour patterns across regions and ethnicities is diverse and complex. Broad areas of influence covered in this chapter, include: (i) culture and community, (ii) religion and the state, (iii) the individual woman herself, (iv) the capitalist economy, and (iv) transnational factors. This chapter is an important read for diverse populations such as students, practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers. Chapter 3 Oral Narrations of Social Rejection Suffered by South Asian Women with Irreversible Health Conditions Sara Rizvi JafreeFareen RahmanThere is no better way to understand the sociocultural factors influencing the health behaviour, health recovery, and overall well-being of South Asian women with regard to their lived experiences of health than by hearing their voiced experiences. This chapter presents oral narrations of four women across South Asia with current health conditions of chronic nature or who have experienced major health setbacks in life. The women belong to diverse socioeconomic strata, which helps to put into context how social beliefs and attitudes transcend wealth and class. Two of the women participants face permanent health conditions from birth -- paralysis and blindness; and the other two have developed health conditions after marriage -- cancer and infertility. The findings reveal that the most complex and frustrating challenge for South Asian women has not been their health condition or lack of resources and health infrastructure, but the social and family support, public attitudes, and community acceptance that they have had to contend with through different stages of their health. Though the health experiences of all four women are different, they reveal the main challenges women face due to social customs, religious interpretations, and traditional values that are prevalent in South Asia.
Chapter 4 Dependency in Health Decision-making of South Asian Women Sara Rizvi JafreeRubeena ZakarShaheda Anwar It is common to measure women's decision-making through variables like: choice in marriage, education, and employment; however, the variable of health decision-making has been less researched and emphasized. The complexity of health decision-making is that it is still considered a private domain. The strength of this chapter is that it uses recent secondary data from the Demographic Health Surveys of Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan to highlight predictors for health decision-making for women of reproductive age. This chapter discusses the salient cultural factors that influence or control health decision-making in women of South Asia: (i) gender gaps and family factor, (ii) health education and health behaviour, (iii) nature of employment, (iv) violence and safety, and (v) quality of healthcare services and traditional healers. Necessary recommendations for health policy.
About the Author
Sara Rizvi Jafree, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Forman Christian College University (FCCU) in Lahore, Pakistan, and teaches courses related to Sociology of Gender, Health and Health Systems, Economic Sociology, and Sociology of Globalization. Having completed her BSc. Honors in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), she pursued her M-Phil and PhD in Sociology from the University of Punjab. An active researcher for funded projects in social welfare areas of microfinance and poverty alleviation, patient safety culture and workplace violence, and intergenerational learning for the elderly, she is also now working on her third book; her first book is titled Women, Healthcare and Violence in Pakistan (Oxford University Press, 2017). Dr. Jafree is part of the Lahore Biomedical Group, Special Needs Pakistan, and is an Advisor to Rotary Club FCCU, all of which enable her to stay involved in community service and plan research objectives. Her current work is on digital health literacy interventions for special needs children and disadvantaged women seeking primary healthcare services, specifically in the context of infection prevention.