Improving Womens Reproductive Health – Essay Example

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Improving Women’ s Reproductive Health" is an outstanding example of an essay on anthropology. The present era has experienced the emergence of a growing interest in the reproductive health of women. Scholars, researchers, policymakers, health care providers, health advocates, and feminists have realized that investing in women’ s health is the key to reducing infant and maternal mortality (Robinson, 2001). Developing and developed countries have been using a state-based approach that involves the use of force to control and regulate women’ s health. Despite this, some developing countries have continued to experience high rates of child and maternal mortality.

This has necessitated the need for a global shift from the state-based approach to women’ s health a women-centered approach to women’ s health with the aim of improving the reproductive health of women globally (Sen, Gennain, and Chen, 1994). This paper will explore the impact of this shift in terms of the reproductive health of women and the experience of women’ s health in developing countries. The paradigm shift from a macro-level to micro-level management of the women’ s reproductive health focuses on the rights of women, reproductive choice, sexual behavior and gender inequality (Lane, 1994).

Reproductive health programs can only be successful if women are fully involved in the process of identifying their health issues so as to make the services offered to them culturally acceptable and applicable to their lives. This can result in women empowerment, creating a way for women to mobilize to have their rights for reproductive health. Scholars and health advocates have realized that the marginalization of women has an adverse effect on their reproductive health and rights. As a result, they are advocating for a woman-centered approach to women’ s reproductive health (Robinson, 2001). A woman-centered approach to women’ s health seeks to guarantee that every woman can access reproductive health.

It offers a framework for treatment, care, and prevention which acknowledges women play a significant role in their communities and hence focuses on the obstacles and risks they face in accessing their own reproductive health care (Edstrom, 2010). Hence, this approach addresses the diverse women’ s needs and conditions so as to ensure that all women have equal access to reproductive health.

To create an environment whereby women can attain the highest standards of reproductive health, developing and developed countries need to recognize and deal with the cultural, social, economic and legal factors that hinder women from accessing reproductive health services. Every woman needs to have access to a range variety of information and services that she requires to enable her to make informed choices as regards her reproductive health as well as to care for her needs as well as for those of her family members. The social and biological needs of women can only be satisfied if they are provided with health services and the resources required for them to gain access to those services (Green, et al.



Doyal, L. 1998. ‘A Framework for Designing National Health Policies with an integrated Gender Perspective,’ in Women and Health, Mainstreaming the Gender Perspective into the Health Sector, Report from Tunis.

Ecks, S. & Sax, W. S. 2005. The Ills of Marginality: New Perspectives on Health in South Asia. Anthropology & Medicine, 12, 199 - 210.

Edstrom, J. 2010 Time to Call the Bluff: (De)-constructing ‘Women’s Vulnerability’, HIV and SexualHealth, Development, 53(2), (215–221)

FEMNET, 1993:"Women and Health" in the African Women's Development and Communication Network. Vol.2 ?4

Filippi V. et al 2006. ‘Maternal Health in poor countries: the broader context and a call for action’,Lancet 368: October

Green, G. et al. 2001. ‘Female control of Sexuality: Illusion or reality? Social Science and Medicine52:585-598

Harcourt W, 2009 Body Politics in Development: Critical Debates in Gender and Development,Zed Books

Hardon, A. (2006). "Contesting contraceptive innovation - Reinventing the script." Social Science &Medicine 62: 614-627.

Hardon, A., Ann M., Sandra K., and Elly E. 1997. Monitoring Family Planning & Reproductive Rights: A manual for empowerment, 1997

Jolly, M. and Ram, K. 2001. Borders of Being: citizenship, fertility and sexuality in Asia and thePacific University of Michigan Press.

Kaler. A. 2001``It's some kind of women's empowerment'': the ambiguity of the female condom as a marker of female empowerment’, Social Science and Medicine 52: 783- 796

Lane, S. 1994 From Population Control to reproductive Health: An emerging policy agenda’, Social Science and Medicine 39(9)

Mensh B. 1992: "Quality of Care: A Neglected Dimension" in The Health of Women: A Global Perspective . Edt Koblinsky, Timyan & Gay. Westview Press, Inc.

Robinson, K. 2001. Government agency, women's agency: feminisms, fertility, and populationcontrol. In M Jolly & K Ram (eds), Borders of being: citizenship, fertility, and sexuality in Asia and the Pacific. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 36-57.

Schrater, A. 1995 ‘Immunization to Control Fertility: Biological and Cultural Frameworks’, Social Science and Medicine 41(5)

Sen G, Gennain A, and Chen L., 1994: "Population Policies Reconsidered: Health, Empowerment, and Rights". Harvard Series on Population and International Health. Harvard University Press.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us