Whether the Poverty of Women in Childhood and Adult Ages Affect Quality of their Health in Later Years?

R.S. Goyal, Indian Institute of Health Management (IIHMR)

India has entered into last legs of demographic transition without competing advances in epidemiological scenario. This has raised apprehensions about the quality of healthy life in elderly years particularly of women who have traditionally been discriminated throughout their lives. This paper compares disease and disability burden between men and women in old ages against the relatively poverty of women in access to nutrition, health care, education etc, in childhood and adult years. Analysis is based on data drawn from secondary sources for a reference period of 1981-2001. The analysis notes minimal gender specific differences in the prevalence of chronic diseases and disabilities in the old ages. Also, it does not find any relationship between disease and disability burden of women in old age and the quality of life in earlier years. The explanations are found in the family institutions that provide protection, care and respect to women in old age.

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Presented in Session 58: The Impact of Life-Changing Events on Retirement Well-Being