A Woman’s Worth Health: Stigma and Discrimination in India


Author: Sophie Cousins

9789353289768 | HB | pp. 224 | 2020 | SAGE, YODA Press

A Woman’s Worth examines the issues such as gender inequality and stigma that affect women’s health in India and the need for change.

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India has made remarkable headway in reducing the prevalence of infectious diseases and extending people’s life expectancy. But despite all the progress, the health of almost half of India’s population—that of women—is under threat. Sophie Cousins takes us through the life-cycle of Indian women, all the while examining how gender inequality and stigma affect their health. A Woman’s Worth details the desperate lengths to which women are forced to go to secure a son; investigates the vast challenges women face when trying to access contraception and abortion; discusses the double stigma women face when having an infectious disease such as HIV and tuberculosis; and examines why cervical cancer, one of the country’s biggest cancer killers, has long been ignored.

Weaving journalistic work with research, this book is a call to action for public health academics, policy makers, students and scholars of gender studies and public health, organisations working in the field, and general readers who have an interest in women’s lives and health.

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Sophie Cousins









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About the Author

The author is an award-winning writer and journalist. Her work focuses on the systems that exacerbate gender inequality and the impact this has on women’s and girls’ health. She is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships from organisations including the United Nations Foundation and the South Asian Journalists’ Association. In 2017, she was awarded a grant by the South Asian Journalists Association to report on abortion in Sri Lanka. In 2018, she was part of the Fuller Project’s Global Women’s Issue Team reporting on sterilisation in India, and in early 2019 she was commended for her reporting on sexual health at the British Medical Journalists’ Association awards. She writes frequently for publications including the Guardian, New York Times, Foreign Policy, the London Review of Books, the Lancet, Mosaic, the Caravan, and the British Medical Journal. She also consults for the World Health Organisation. She has reported from more than 20 countries in Central and South America, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.


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