EDITORIAL
Category : EDITORIAL
Author : Aura Staff
The urgency of discussing health and gender has never appeared greater than it is now. While the pandemic is an obvious shadow hovering over our everyday lives, other undercurrents that point to the rot in our societies also have to be examined keenly. The gendered aspect of health is inherently tied to the way healthcare is structured in our broad context of South Asia, and India in particular. Access to quality healthcare services is driven and shaped by structural inequality and societal stratifications of class, caste, gender, religion, dis/ability and region. Increasingly privatized, quality and safe healthcare has been reduced to the privilege of a few, rather than the public good the now-decayed welfare state imagined it to be. In this issue, our writers and contributors have attempted to capture the wide arc of what healthcare or the lack thereof means in our society, and particularly how this is envisioned by women. Simultaneously, they have focused on the more intimate stories – stories of survival in a world which is not designed keeping the needs of persons with disabilities, or narrations of motherhood and child-care, affected as they are by societal expectations and discrimination. Additionally, in an attempt to observe Autism Awareness Day, Press Freedom Day and the month of Ramadan, this issue includes some special features. Health is an expansive concept beyond the mere physical aspect of it. Keeping in mind this developing and holistic notion of health, we have tried to link its various aspects – physical, mental, societal and spiritual, for example – in this issue. Ramadan, which marks a month of training, self-purification and a reaffirming of one’s submission to the Creator, has also been explored in its many diverse aspects, because spiritual health ties together and ensures that a person’s heart, in addition to her body and mind, is truly at rest. Our first issue, March 2021, which focused on leadership, was received with a great deal of support and warmth. This overwhelming reception has given us the encouragement to continue our work, and it is with this hope that I present the April issue to our readers. In addition, we invite feedback, comments and critique on this issue, to be sent to our email. Selected feedback will be shared in the subsequent issue, and all of it will be taken into consideration for our work.