Women’s Health: a Critical Approach to Gender Issues, Ideas and Practices in India

Subhra Chanddra

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Bhatter College, Dantan

Volume 7, Number 3, 2015 I Full Text PDF


Women’s  health   status   is  an  emerging  subject-matter  of  study revealing  diverse  inequalities  in causes  and  outcomes  of  it  in  both  industrialized  and  developing  countries. Various  socio-cultural  and socio-economic  determinants  ranging  from diverse  ideology, beliefs, taboos  and practices  shape  the  manifestations, conceptualisation, consequences, appropriate  treatment, treatment-seeking  behaviour  and  treatment  response. The entire  gamut  of  discussion  of  this  paper  revolves  around  some  of  these  socio-cultural  and  socio-economic  determinants of  women’s  health  issues .

Keywords:  women’s  health, determinants, beliefs, practices, issues


“Cradle of life; that’s the WOMEN.” Though it was long since identified that women represent one half of the world’s population, supporting an increasing numbering of families; living longer than their male counterparts for biological reasons; are also the one, who often suffer the greater burdens of illness and disability .The recognition of this ground reality has invoke the Government of India to reiterate ,rethink and reallocate and consistently increase the budget outlay for programmes on  family planning and women’s health with every Five-Year Plan .However, this has had little impact on the overall scenario ; resulting in contrasting and divulging inequalities in both developed and developing societies. Health concerns of women are often neglected if not unmet; and their lies the importance of emphasising this basic need of women; as health is something to be nurtured , in order to , prevent illness and diseases.

Illness and diseases and its perception, treatment form a common experiences process and is part and parcel of human life in every society. Every community has its own way of dealing with the illness based on certain preconceived knowledge, beliefs and practices build around health and illness, which invariably varies with the members of different communities, as well as, within the members of the same communities .The notion of health is related to the concept “healthy” which simply means living well despite, any inescapable illnesses and diseases. Thereby, health is the balance and integration of physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, occupational and environmental aspects of human condition.

The women’s health movement that started in the United States of America and spread worldwide has been successful in shifting the preconceived notion of women’s health from sex neutrality to gender specificity, from a biomedical model to a social model and to a holistic model, from dependency of the patient to self – determination of the patient, and from doctor – centred care to client–centred care (Richters, 2002). It is being recognised that everywhere women’s experiences, and presentations of their health problems are misunderstood (Chhabra, 2002). The concerns of women’s therapies, preventive and curative in various parts of the world have also been perceived differently (Richters 1992; Zaidi 1996; Vlassof & Manderson 1998).According to Richter (2002), while in some parts of the world the concerns and priorities may be clean water, malaria control, or safe childbirth, in the industrialized world activists charge that scientists have neglected to include women in the epidemiological studies and clinical trials, arguing that researchers mistakenly assumed that data from middle-aged white males apply equally well to women, minorities and the elderly .Partly because of these accusations, the field of gender-based medicine has come into existence, concentrating on the fundamental male-female differences in the incidences and prevalence of specific diseases, specific diseases risks, the response to risk factors, etiology, symptoms, manifestations, the presentation  of complaints, the experience of disease and complaints and the dealing with the complaints, the course of the disease, the psycho-social consequences of diseases, the appropriate treatment, treatment responsivity, the kind of health education needed, etc. (Kolk et al; the Journal of Women’s Health and Gender-Based Medicine ).  Despite, all the jargons in the Family Planning Programme and Reproductive and Child Health Programmes, India has failed to achieve the desired goals. In India, women have high mortality rate particularly, in their childhood and in reproductive years. Maternal mortality rates is high in the rural areas accounting for, 19% of still births and 27% of all maternal deaths from a global perspective .The health of Indian women is  linked to their  societal background and status .The United Nations ranks India as  a middle-incomed country. The United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report (2011) ranked India 132 out of 187 in terms of gender inequality. Gender Inequality Index (GII) is a multidimensional indicator determined by numerous factors including maternity mortality rate, adolescent fertility rate, educational achievement and labour force participation rate. India exemplifies many of these multidimensional indicators.

The term gender as used often to distinguish the differences between men and women that are socially construed from those that are biologically acquired is more a recent concept. A gender approach to a particular health aspect or a disease probes both the differential impact of it on women and men and the social, cultural and economic contexts within which the person live and work. According to Dr A martya Sen, “Burden of hardships fall disproportionately on women” due to inequalities like: mortality (due to gender bias in health care and nutrition), natality (Sex Selective Abortion and female infanticide), basic facilities (education and skills development), special opportunities (higher education and professional training),employment (promotion) and ownership ( home, land and property)…Full Text PDF

Second Language Acquisition via Virtual Learning Platforms: A Case Study on Romanian Experiences

Lucia-Mihaela Grosu-R?dulescu1 & Veronica-Maria Stan2

1The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania.ORCID: 0000-0001-8183-3263. Email:,  

2The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania. Email:

 Volume 10, Number 3, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n3.15

Received April 21, 2018; Revised August 01, 2018: Accepted August 29, 2018; Published November 03, 2018.


Dwelling on the relationship between second language acquisition and independent study, the present article will analyze the relevance of foreign language learning online platforms. Our main assumption is that young adults are inclined to improve their foreign language skills by accessing virtual learning platforms as this experience is emphasizing their need to belong to online learning communities. This study begins with a critical approach of recent trends in learning/ teaching methods in the field of foreign languages. We will mention some successful blended learning strategies for the acquisition and assessment of foreign languages, but we will also pinpoint the limits of such methods. We will then provide a short overview of previous research in this domain conducted in Romania with a focus on the Bucharest University of Economic Studies’ efforts to include an online component in its teaching activities.

Our subsequent analytic section will be constructed on data gathered through a survey conducted in 2016 with tertiary learners from different Romanian academic centers. We will show that by drawing the profile of the 21st century foreign language online learner, we can make informed suggestions for updating foreign language teaching methods. Our main purpose is to predict fresh interactive techniques that could appeal more to students in our domain of interest. We will show that such up-to-date methods can improve not only students’ results in foreign language learning but they can also provide an additional environment where students can make independent learning choices. We will also address the limits of our study and possible subsequent directions of research in order to gather more data that could supplement our initial findings.

Keywords: virtual learning platforms, foreign language learning, independent students


The Grotesque and Physical Degeneration in Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

Abdullah M. Dagamseh1 & Faisal Rawashdeh2

1Yarmouk University, Department of English, Irbid, Jordan, 211-63. Email:

2Yarmouk University, Department of English, Irbid, Jordan, 211-63. Email: 

 Volume 10, Number 3, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n3.14

Received August 03, 2018; Revised October 13, 2018: Accepted October 27, 2018; Published November 03, 2018.


The question of the grotesque and theories of degeneration emerged in late 19th century Europe and the early decades of the 20th century. We argue that in The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka uses the grotesque and physical degeneration to express a corresponding anxiety about the continuing physical retrogression of Man in the twentieth-century. Moreover, we claim that Kafka’s main character, Gregor, is an entropic body reversing the biological bases of evolution and progression as theorized by many Darwinian evolutionists and Victorian social scientists. In allowing space for the articulation of organic degeneration, Metamorphosis not only attests to the sentiments of 19th-century degenerationists and their predictions of the continuation of this neurotic cycle of retrogression in the following century but also complicates the gothic representation of physical decline by bringing the grotesque into a high degree of prominence. Our reading of Kafka’s novella is informed by Wolfgang Kayser’s and Kelly Hurley’s insights on the subjects of the grotesque and degeneration.

Keywords: Kafka, Metamorphosis, Grotesque, Degeneration, Entropic.

The Non-Acting Character Type in Natural School Literature

Tatyana Shvetsova
M.V. Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Russia, Severodvinsk. Email:

 Volume 10, Number 3, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n3.13

Received August 03, 2018; Revised October 02, 2018: Accepted October 27, 2018; Published November 02, 2018.


In literary criticism, the category Act is used to characterize the character’s position in the space of different genres, both artistic and border ones that arose at the intersection of a document and a literary text. The purpose of this research is to use the writings of F.M. Dostoevsky, A.N. Maykov, N.A. Nekrasov, included in the Petersburg Collection, to describe the historical and literary facts that allow us to bring into the light the phenomenon of a non-acting character type (in particular, the bureaucrat) as a system-forming event of the literary process of the XIX century. Philosophical hermeneutics and related literary hermeneutics are the major research methods, as well as the comparative-typological method and the comprehensive system analysis, based on the unity of the structural artistic phenomenon and the aesthetic self-organization. There were analyzed the characters and their actions in the context of works included in the uninvestigated collection of the XIX century. The character, who was brought to the forefront of Russian  literature of that period, is a bureaucrat, who commits no Act. The Crisis (loss) of an Act is a consequence of a changing world view. This research allows offering insights into the understanding of the environment, in which the nineteenth-century Russian  historical and literary process has been forming.

Keywords: nineteenth-century Russian  literature, Act Crisis, the Petersburg Collection, F.M. Dostoevsky, A.N. Maykov, N.A. Nekrasov

Exotifying Bodies: Self-Flagellation, Abjection, and Social Memory

Noel Christian A. Moratilla

University of the Philippines, University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City. Orcid: 0000-0002-2798-2337. Email:

 Volume 10, Number 3, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n3.12

Received September 03, 2018; Revised October 09, 2018: Accepted October 27, 2018; Published November 02, 2018.


During the Lenten ritual known in the Philippines as penitensya, hooded peninents whip themselves publicly as they walk.  While some Church and government officials have repeatedly expressed disapproval of the practice, self-flagellation has persisted with characteristic obduracy to this day.  Through mass media and social media, it has caught the attention of other parts of the world.  A cursory search on the internet, for example, would yield not a few visual and textual materials on penitensya.   Some of these materials are analyzed in this paper, using critical frameworks based on Kristeva’s concept of abjection and Jameson’s delineation of third-world literature as national allegories.  One would encounter such abjection in the decontextualized foregrounding of the grisliness, violence, and horror associated with this form of corporal mortification.  As a practice rooted in colonial history, penitensya evokes colonial traumas, but contemporized, it also serves as an allegorical embodiment of collective hopes and possibilities.

Keywords: penitensya; self-flagellation; abjection; Lent in the Philippines; national allegories; Roman Catholicism in the Philippines

The social and historical situation in the nineteenth-century Kazakhstan and the anti-colonial trend in Kazakh literature

Alya Akimkizi Oskembay, Bakytzhan Bekenovna Kelgembaeva, Baurzhan Amangeldyevich Yerdembekov

Sarsen Amanzholov East Kazakhstan state university, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan. Email:

  Volume 10, Number 3, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n3.11

Received May 03, 2018; Revised September 09, 2018: Accepted October 27, 2018; Published November 02, 2018.


The paper features a brief review of the history of Russia’s colonization of Kazakhstan in the nineteenth century. During this period, Russia was engaged in colonial activities in Asia. After conquering the Kazakh lands, Russia launched a policy of russification and started to force a new sociopolitical model upon the Kazakhs. The research investigates the status of the Kazakh population in Russia and that of the people who were forced to move to China. The research also reviews the attempts of Kazakhs to regain their independence through rebellions, which were suppressed violently by imperial armed forces. The authors analyzed the works of East Kazakhstani poets in the context of the sociocultural processes of that age. The poetic works best reflect the mood of the nation and its attitude to the new policy. The poems of Arimzhan Zhanuzakuli, Argynbek Apashbayuli, and Nogaybay Suleymenuli discover and contemplate the themes that reflect the political and social controversies of the age of economic, political, and cultural expansion into the country (the theme of disappointment with the past and fear of the future) and unite the poets into the “times of tribulation” literary trend. The works of the “times of tribulation” poets gave impetus to the national rebirth of Kazakhs and the return of independence and the possibility to choose their own policy. Due to the subjects addressed in their works, many poets were subject to purges. Nowadays, the Kazakhs have their own independent state of Kazakhstan, which became possible thanks to the national idea that was formed in the works of nineteenth-century poets.

Keywords: colonialization of Kazakhstan, “times of tribulation” literary trend, social lyric poetry, direct nomination.


Politics of the Man Booker Prize(s): The Case of The White Tiger and Sea of Poppies

Satyanarayan Tiwari1 & Ajay K Chaubey2

1Doctoral candidate at the Department of English, Dr. H S Gour Central University, Sagar.

2Assistant Professor of English at the Department of Sciences & Humanities, National Institute of Technology, Uttarakhand. E-mail:

  Volume 10, Number 3, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n3.10

Received May 06, 2018; Revised September 29, 2018: Accepted October 27, 2018; Published October 29, 2018.




The present paper is a modest attempt to map the nuances of the politics of literary prizes and their reception in pan-global [literary] market. The discrimination in awarding the prizes is explicitly perceptible when any cultural text produced by the writers of the ‘third world’ is shortlisted for the prize in general, and the Man Booker in particular. It has been studied and observed that the texts which satiate the exotic lens of ‘Orientalism’, or carry colonial legacies, are brought to the fore to mollify the western academia. As a result, affirmative responses for a distorted picture of India portrayed by Indian/diasporic writers, has not only attracted young writers but also paved a shortcut way for them who intend to be famous overnight in the international literary firmament. Therefore, the politics of the Man Booker prize in this regard are discernible, as it not only masquerades, but also marques a writer, a celebrity.

Keywords:  Third World, Orientalism, Diaspora, the Man Booker Prize, Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger, Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies

Sexual Violence and Sainthood: A Critical Study of Our Lady of Alice Bhatti

Sourav Paul1 and Dr Shri Krishan Rai2

 1UGC Junior Research Fellow, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology Durgapur, India. ORCID: 0000-0002-5921-2863. Email:

2Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology Durgapur, India. Email:

  Volume 10, Number 3, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n3.09

Received April 27, 2018; Revised September 30, 2018: Accepted October 27, 2018; Published October 27, 2018.


The study explores how the eponymous novel Our Lady of Alice Bhatti (2011) by Mohammed Hanif takes the stance of rediscovering the multifaceted strains of sexual violence as on the backdrop of sainthood. The protagonist (Alice) executes saintly miracles with her unnerving gifts for which superficially she is perceived as a divine human being if not worshipped. But nothing, not even her supernatural skill set, can restrain her from being a victim of sexual violence. Rather spiritual holiness is shattered by the intimidation of the body. Alice’s mystic powers are treated like a witch’s necromancy than a curer’s touch for which she is prejudiced as an easily accessible flesh. This preoccupation of terror is not merely the creed for sex but the greed for violence (hence power). Finding common grounds between two religions on the basis of humanity and nature the paper sounds true to its venture of the issue of sexual violence along with its turnovers in the social, political and cultural dynamism of sainthood.

Keywords: Sexual violence, sainthood, holiness, body, terror, necromancy.

The Strategies Used by Forced Migrants to Manage Bereavement as a Result of Multiple Losses

Ana M.M.S Rodrigues

University of Southampton, United Kingdom. ORCID: 0000-0003-1004-8481.



  Volume 10, Number 3, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n3.08

Received July 29, 2018; Revised October 02, 2018: Accepted October 27, 2018; Published October 27, 2018.


A forced migrant is a person who tries to settle in another country after leaving their own country unwillingly, but is psychologically plagued by the past and by everything that characterises their country of origin. Therefore, there is a twofold difficulty: the forced migrant has to integrate into a country that was not desired, which causes psychological stress, while feel weakened by the losses and traumas associated with their departure.

The aim of this study was to determine what are the strategies employed by forced migrants to manage the grief experienced as a result of significant losses.

The research took the form of a systematic review of the literature, following a search on the electronic platform EBSCO host for studies published between January 2006 and January 2016. The search results were subsequently evaluated, respecting the inclusion and exclusion criteria previously established.

Seven studies met the inclusion criteria. The findings of these studies revealed that in order to manage the grief they experienced as a result of significant losses, many forced migrants used strategies based on work, socialisation, in religious observance, the continuation of their cultural practices and taking care of children.

The results suggest the need to give space to forced migrants to express their suffering, helping them to seek strategies that facilitate them in managing the grief that stems from significant losses associated with their departure from their country of origin.

Keywords: Forced migrants, loss, grief, coping strategies.

“I don’t even feel human anymore”: Monstrosity and Othering in Ken Dahl’s Monsters

Sathyaraj Venkatesan1 & Chinmay Murali2

1Associate Professor of English in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the National Institute of Technology, Trichy, India. Email:

2Research Scholar in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the National Institute of Technology, Trichy, India. Email:

  Volume 10, Number 3, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n3.07

Received March 25, 2018; Revised October 11, 2018: Accepted October 27, 2018; Published October 27, 2018.



The idea of the monster has functioned within various Western discourses, always carrying with it elements of difference, deviance, exclusion, and marginality irrespective of spatiotemporal differences. The monstrous often signified a liminal state of existence, remaining well within the western dualistic logic that operates through a series of binaries such as natural/unnatural, human/animal, self/other, normal/deviant. Within the discourses surrounding body and illness, sexual transgression and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as AIDS, syphilis, and herpes, among others, are often portrayed as monstrous. Ken Dahl’s autopathography Monsters (2009) is a harrowing account of his experience of dealing with herpes infection and the personal, psychological and socio-cultural impact of encountering his own vulnerabilities as an STD-infected person. In close reading Dahl’s memoir, this article aims to investigate the author’s use of the monster metaphor and abject art to depict the stigma he faced as a carrier of an incurable and contagious disease. Drawing theoretical insights from Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, and Julia Kristeva among others, the essay also seeks to examine the social mechanisms and the discourses surrounding body and illness which operate in stigmatizing and othering an STD patient as monstrous.

Keywords: comics, graphic medicine, abject art, monster, body, STD