Women Facing Discrimination


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

In India and several Southern countries such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives and several countries of South Africa and South America, women generally face discrimination and get less regard and recognition in comparison to men.

According to a recent Lancet Report, women suffer from gender discrimination in healthcare that undermines their interaction with the health system leading to their poorer health and energy levels. This also exasperates their general condition and mentality.

Whether in a farm or an industry in a town, a woman works hard but she gets less wages in comparison to a male worker. Her nature of work is also considered subservient to that of a male worker.

There are several reasons for this discrimination— a woman cannot take up duties that a male worker carries out partly because her physical energy is less than that of a man of her age and also certain jobs are just not conducive to women’s mental and physical bodies. Another reason is that a woman who has children, feels fettered by her care she has to take for her children and so she cannot take up duties like a male worker . A woman who is pregnant also suffers from her inability to work fully for the job or duties she has undertaken.

For the above reasons families prefer sons in comparison to daughters. Even if a rural family has two sons and the woman is pregnant, the family generally prefers to have a third son over a daughter. For these reasons daughters or female children usually get less care and attention in comparison to male children.

Disease and illness are quite common in children in India as in many other countries. But if the child is male the parents take the best care possible for them — be it a rural area or a town. In comparison, a girl child will get less care and less amount of money is spent on her health and treatment. Unfortunately, Government hospitals or clinics are overcrowded, private hospitals are considered expensive by the poor sections of Indian society — be it a rural or urban area.

Lancet Commission which tries to study and analyse cancer patients has reported that a large number of deaths among Indian women suffering from cancer could have been prevented if proper diagnosis and treatment had been taken for these women at the proper time. The reason the women did not receive the best treatment and care is obvious. Women face discrimination while they are not diseased which prevents them from undergoing proper medical analysis to confirm that they don’t need any medical treatment except perhaps only rest.

When it is found that they are suffering from some serious disease like cancer, they do not receive proper treatment again because of discrimination and  because it is considered expensive for the poorer sections of Indian society. They do not have sufficient funds to determine what steps should be taken to have  the disease tackled properly and adequately at the proper time before it becomes a serious threat to the individual woman and the family.

It may be mentioned that this discrimination that women suffer from and their inability to get proper care is now clearly understood. India, for example, has some sympathetic medical doctors both male and female. The system they operate in, allows them to be aware of the discriminatory system women patients suffer from. They have thus evolved proper policies to  prevent discrimination to become too blatant so that women do not suffer excessively. Care —  both medical and social is becoming fairly normal for the mental and physical health of patients— female or male.

It goes without saying medical care and medication if required, are necessary for all — male, female children. What is needed is a sympathetic attitude towards them. The present government in India has evolved a system for all. Let us hope that people obtain the care and medicines if necessary. It is difficult for the government to take care of all but it is trying to help and prevent disease to the extent possible under the circumstances.

We wish them success.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. ravipbhatia@gmail.com



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 23 Oct 2023.

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2 Responses to “Women Facing Discrimination”

  1. Hoosen Vawda says:

    “Women Facing Discrimination” by Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia
    TRANSCEND Media Service: Monday 23rd October 2023
    Dear Professor Ravi Bhatia. Prem namaskar. Thank you for publishing your paper titled “Women facing Discrimination” in the Transcend Weekly Journal of Monday 23rd October 2024.
    I read the publication with a great deal of interest and note a minor error in the information, presented. May I, most respectfully highlight the following, reflected as misinformation, which will be inadvertently propagated and is counterproductive in a Journal which embodies “Peace Propagation”. This is even exemplified by the founder, Professor Johan Vincent Galtung, who has reached a ripe young age of 93 spreading and formulating theories on Peace, as well as having the tenacity of refusing compulsory conscription in the Norwegian Army at the age of 24, for which this great personage was incarcerated in prison.
    Against such an august background, I write most respectfully to point out that in your paper, you refer to “In India and several Southern countries such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives and several countries of South Africa and South America, women generally face discrimination and get less regard and recognition in comparison to men.” Please note that there is no such entity as “countries of South Africa”. South Africa is a country by itself of 62 million people who constitute the “Rainbow Nation”, as described by the Honourable, Late Emeritus Bishop Desmond Tutu. Furthermore, there is absolutely NO discrimination against women in South Africa. On the contrary, the Republic of South Africa is at the forefront of empowering women and to reflect this general, official government and social stance, South Africa, post liberation in 1994, has the largest cohort of women in the National Parliament, in the Provincial Assemblies of the 11 Provinces of South Africa, at a government level. In addition, South African women are leaders in Academia, the industry, including Mining as CEOs’ and even in the fields of Law, Actuarial Sciences and Medicine, which are traditionally male dominated fields, in most first world countries, including the United States, as well as in the European Union block.
    The impression you leave the reader of your paper is that South Africa is firstly made up of several countries, which it is not and secondly, it is included amongst the women discriminatory block in the 21st century, something which is totally incorrect and constitutes misinformation.
    I humbly apologise for any inconvenience or offence caused, as that is certainly NOT the aim of this feedback.
    I trust you will accept my comment in good faith and kindly rectify the text, as explained.
    Thank you, kindest regards, with respectful love and friendship. Wish you well over the Dussehra period, and trust you had a peaceful Navaratri, with all the very best for a joyous and spiritually uplifting Deepawali.
    Hoosen Vawda
    Durban, South Africa
    Phone + 27 62291 4546

  2. Hoosen Vawda says:

    Apologies mu phone number is +27 82 291 4546 Thank you