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Emory University

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

India: Public Health, Policy Advocacy, and Community

Abstract

Reproductive rights and education of women in rural communities is of lesser importance in India’s patriarchal society. Reproductive health is a conversation that is rarely discussed, and the health status of women is of little priority behind that of men and children’s health. Education about the health and hygiene of menstruation allows for women and adolescent girls to play a role in their own health maintenance, as well as normalizes the discussion of menstruation and reproductive health. Studying Jagori Rural Charitable Trust’s efforts to disseminate knowledge about reproductive health, with specific focus on menstruation, allows for an understanding of the impact of NGO efforts being made to educate women and adolescent girls, as well as displays a model of how and what village women of Dharamsala are being taught about menstruation. Data collection from six different villages in Dharamsala was utilized to show the dissemination of menstrual knowledge originating from Jagori’s workshops, women’s collectives, Anganwadi partnerships, and adolescent girl groups. Discussions, interviews, and observations of the women, their lasting menstrual knowledge, and the workshop training materials and objectives, allowed for a developed conclusion about Jagori’s model, the menstrual knowledge among village women in Dharamsala, and how Jagori’s outputs are affecting the outcomes and creating impact within the community. Results find that retention of knowledge from the reproductive health workshops was low in remembering the root of menstrual ailments, but higher in the knowledge retention of home remedies and hygiene. Further, Jagori’s reproductive workshops alone have a lesser impact on the community, with workshop attendance being a privilege reserved mostly for the leaders of the village collectives and adolescent girl’s collectives. However, in combination with the women’s collectives, inschool gender and sex sessions for adolescents, and the supervision of monthly Anganwadi meetings, Jagori has set up a support system of groups to disseminate knowledge in which they rely on their own efforts of outreach and awareness promotion, as well as the contributions of the leaders they are encouraging in the communities, to create change, and empower the women to promote the discussion of health as an important right for women and girls.

Disciplines

Asian Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | International and Area Studies | Maternal and Child Health | Politics and Social Change | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Women's Health | Women's Studies

 

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