And the ISP title winner is…


Dalit Women: Exploring the Social Determinants of Health Access in Rural India through Development

As I promised, the abstract to my paper is below:


Dalit women in rural India are discriminated against triply because of intersectionality, the fact that they are Dalit, they are poor and they are women. This community is one of the most marginalized groups in India especially within the rural parts of India where the caste system is particularly important. These women are denied of their basic human rights: life, health and education. India does however have a reservation policy in place but being a Dalit woman is still not easy. There are also many health programs in place but with poor implementation and lack of knowledge, many Dalit women cannot access these health resources. On account of their ‘untouchability’, their health indicators are poor compared to individuals of higher caste. Previous research shows that, “caste, class, and gender discrimination prevents Dalit women from enjoying their basic human rights, particularly to dignity, equality and development” (Ashalatha). These determinants can affect their access to good healthcare and basic education. Many Dalit women and girls in rural Maharashtra have anemia, malnutrition and overall weak structural skeletons. However with the help of organizations such as the Comprehensive Rural Health Project, women begin seeing themselves as leaders and help with mobilizing their community, “women’s health status is basic to their advancement in all fields of endeavor” (Sethi 2006). Dalit women from India are facing what African American women in the United States faced for over 200 years; however these women have faced this discrimination since the Vedic Period. This paper addresses Dalit women’s social determinants and how that has affected their access to good health as well as showing comparisons between villages that have a strong NGO presence and villages without.



My Mom and I


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