Health and Welfare of Women and Child Survival: A Key to Nation Building
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Health of women has a profound effect on the health and welfare of communities, countries and the world at large. A large number of social, economic, educational, political and religious dimensions impact the lives of girls and women with repercussions on their health and status in society and welfare of their children. It is a sad reality that a large number of children, adolescents and women worldwide have limited or no access to essential health care services, nutrition and education. Gender inequity and discrimination against girls cannot be bridged unless there are equal opportunities for healthcare and education for boys and girls. The International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated on 11th October to create global awareness about issues of gender inequity, bias, right to education, nutrition, medical care and protection against discrimination, violence, genital mutilation and child marriages. There is a need to provide essential healthcare and nutrition to girls and women throughout their life cycle. Children are the foundation of a nation and mothers are its pillars, and no sensible government can afford to neglect the needs and rights of women and children. The government of India has launched several initiatives like National Plan of Action for the Girl Child, Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act to curb female feticides and “Save Girl Child, Educate Girl Child” Yojana. But the real challenge is effective implementation of these programs without any leakage of funds and resources. The United Nations, through a series of conventions, has declared child marriages as a violation of human right. They have launched an ambitious global strategy for promotion of health of women, children and adolescents for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 with a focus on “Every Woman Every Child”.
KeywordsChild marriages Female feticides and infanticides Genital mutilation Lifecycle approach Maternal health Maternal mortality
My special thanks are due to Sonia Singh for going through the manuscript and making useful suggestions.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
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