Only 954 women received a dose of vaccine against coronavirus for every 1,000 men who received the same, showed data from CoWin platform, revealing the continuing gender gap in the inoculation programme, reported The Indian Express.
However, this is a slight improvement from six months earlier, when in June 2021, 870 women were getting vaccinated for every 1,000 men receiving the jab. The ratio in June was lower than India's overall sex ratio 940:1000.
Women Lagging in Big Metros
The sex ratio is lowest in Mumbai, where the female jab ratio is only 694:1000. This is far below the sex ratio of the city, which is 832 women for 1,000 men, pointed The Indian Express report.
Incidentally, the gender gap is evident in all the big metros.
In Delhi, only 742 women got vaccinated for the 1,000 men jabbed. In absolute terms, while 1.64 crore men got jabbed, only 1.22 crore women did. Six months ago, only 725 women are receiving the jab for every 1,000 men getting the same.
The same pattern is observed in Chennai and Bengaluru as well. While the female jab ratio is 821 in Tamil Nadu's capital, it is only 810 in its Karnataka counterpart. The sex ratio in both the cities is one of the highest in the country, with 989 women for 1,000 men in Chennai, and 916 women for every 1,000 men in Bengaluru.
Which States Are Vaccinating More Women
Uttar Pradesh, the state with the highest population in India, saw a total of 23.65 lakh vaccine doses being given, as on 18 January, The Indian Express report pointed. Of this, 12.18 doses were offered to men and 11.41 to women, translating to 936:1000.
Maharashtra's overall female jab ratio is 868:1000, lower than UP's. States like Bihar and West Bengal have vaccinated more women than men, with the ratio being 1,041:918 and 1,028:950 respectively.
States like Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Odisha, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, and Assam have reported more vaccination among women.
What's the Reason
But, why are more men getting vaccinated than women?
“Vaccination-related gender disparity cannot be viewed in isolation,” says Dr Sanghamitra Singh, a health scientist and senior manager, Knowledge Management and Partnerships at Population Foundation of India. “If we look at historic trends around women’s health in India, we will notice that women’s health has never really been given as much priority in families or by women themselves.”
The fifth National Family Health Survey, released in December 2020, revealed that more than 60 percent women across 12 states have never used the internet. Less than 3 out of 10 women in rural India and 4 out of 10 in urban India have only ever used the internet.
“Families think that if a woman has access to internet, she will engage in ‘galat kaam’ or ‘our daughters will be exposed to bad things.’ There are multiple studies that show that women do not use internet or have access to it because families will not approve of it. It is not an individual decision. But how families and societies look at women who use internet.”Anushree Jairath
(With inputs from The Indian Express)