Pitfalls of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare of Women in India
The practice of obstetrics and gynaecology (OB/GYN) has historically
been dominated by men and was brought into existence as a replacement
for midwifery, a woman-centered model of care, by women, which was deemed unscientific.
Instead of improving on this model, they built their own as they considered
women weak, naïve, and irrational to understand the ‘complex science’.
They called midwifery unscientific while conducting unethical experiments
on enslaved women without anaesthesia and practicing eugenics.
The increasing number of women in OB/GYN is not helping in improving
the treatment of female patients proportionately. Women face many barriers
in accessing healthcare.
When they finally do get access to it, their right to health is being denied
Accessing abortion as an unmarried woman is a nightmare in India.
It does not get any easier for a married, abled woman.
The husband speaks over her during the appointments about her
The doctors do not explain most procedures or obtain consent before
conducting them. Every medical student is free to insert his or her
fingers into her privates to check for dilatation of her cervix.
Studies have shown how obstetrical abuse derails a woman’s psychological,
physical and socioeconomic health.
Acharya et al7 conducted a study in the Bargarh and Sambalpur districts of Odisha,
India to determine the extent of obstetric violence in India.
They classified it and assessed how it impacts the lives of women who experienced it.
Following is the table from the study detailing the various kinds
of obstetric violence and the number of women who experienced it.
Gynecol Obstet Res Open J. 2022; 8(1): e1-e3. doi: 10.17140/GOROJ-8-e007