12 April 2018 - 13 April 2018
New Delhi, India

The trajectory of gender disparity in health across life course

IIASA researcher Nandita Saikia will present latest research from the World Population Program at a seminar on poverty and social exclusion.

Poor children being taught in an open air classroom by volunteers, Delhi, India © Amlan Mathur | Shutterstock

Poor children being taught in an open air classroom by volunteers, Delhi, India © Amlan Mathur | Shutterstock

The two Day National Seminar on Poverty and Social Exclusion: A Life Course Perspective will deliberate upon the twin evils of poverty and social exclusion through the lenses of life course perspective. It will try to probe
how poverty during childhood or through generation(s) and other social problems like discrimination and exclusion in the family are interrelated, and in what way
do they increase the risk for poverty and social exclusion
further? It will explore how differential exposure to several factors during the life course lead to differential vulnerability with regard to poverty and exclusion. The outcome is xpected to provide fresh scholarly discussion and policy insights for tackling the twin challenges of the developing countries in general and India in particular. 

IIASA researcher Nandita Saikia will give a presentation entitled "The Trajectory of gender disparity in health across life course: The case of Indian women" at this seminar. Saikia joined IIASA's World Population Program in August 2017 as an IIASA Postdoctoral researcher to work on indoor air pollution and mortality.

Organized by the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), Lokashraya Foundation and TERI School of Advanced Studies the seminar will take place between 12-14 April in New Delhi.

For more information please see the call for papers.


Trajectory of gender disparity in health across life course: The case of Indian women

In the study, I discussed the trajectory of gender disparity in health outcome and health care service utilization of Indian women through life course prospective. In absence of real cohort data in India, I have used data from various nationally representative surveys of India viz. Census, National Family Health Surveys and India Human Development Surveys etc. I used three indicators to compare gender disparity through life course of Indian women, first, excess female deaths in under age five; second, morbidity prevalence and health care access during adulthood and finally, disabled life expectancy at old age. 

On average Indian women live 3.08 years longer than Indian men. However, this masks extreme gender disparity they face across their life course. Excess female under five mortality rate is about 19·2 per 1000 live births in India during a period centered on 2003. This corresponds to an estimated 242,000 excess deaths per year. While 90 percent of Indian districts experience excess female death in age group 0-5, contribution of four large states (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to excess female deaths was the largest.  During adulthood, prevalence of short-term and long-term morbidity is higher among Indian women than Indian men; yet, access to health care and health expenditure is substantially lower among women than men. At old age, disabled life expectancy is higher for women than men indicating poor quality of life. 

On average, Indian women exposed to higher mortality rate at childhood due to poor nutrition and health care; face discrimination in accessing health care during adulthood and ends up with a poor quality life at old age. 

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Last edited: 20 March 2018

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