A Community Health Programme in Rural Tamil Nadu, India: The Need for Gender Justice for Women

Mini Elizabeth Jacob, Sulochana Abraham, Susila Surya, Shantidani Minz, Daisy Singh, Vinod Joseph Abraham, Jasmin Prasad, Kuryan George, Anju Kuruvilla, KS Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This article highlights the efforts of the Community Health and Development (CHAD) Programme of Christian Medical College to address the issues of gender discrimination and improve the status of women in the Kaniyambadi Block, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India. The many schemes that are specifically for women and general projects for the community from which women can also benefit represent a multi-pronged approach whose aim is the improvement of women's health, education and employment in the context of community development. However, despite five decades of work with a clear bias in favour of women, the improvement in health and the empowerment of women has lagged behind that achieved by men. We believe this is because the community, with its strong male bias, utilises the health facilities and education and employment programmes more for the benefit of men and boys than women and girls. The article argues for a change of approach, in which gender and women's issues are openly discussed and debated with the community. It would appear that nothing short of social change will bring about an improvement in the health of women and a semblance of gender equality in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive Health Matters
Issue number27
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • India
  • community-based programmes and interventions
  • development
  • women's health
  • women's status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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