Let’s Talk About the Gender Gap in Organ Donation

Let’s Talk About the Gender Gap in Organ Donation

India

On karva chauth, a wife gave her husband a new lease on life by donating her kidney. The wife became the organ donor and set an example of true love.

We often come across such moving news in newspapers where women are portrayed as goddess of compassion, kindness and sacrifice. But why doesn’t anybody ask men to make such a sacrifice?

Researchers collected data from AIIMS, PGI Chandigarh, Narayanan Hospital in Hyderabad, and other premier institutions. They found:

About 85 percent of all familial organ donors were women, while only 10 percent of the recipients were women. In transplants between spouses, 90 to 95 percent of the donors were wives, while instances of husbands donating organs to the wife were found to be rare.

The gender difference in organ donation is staggering. Women vastly outnumber men when it comes to donating their organs.

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Are more women volunteering for organ donation? Or they are being pushed to do so?Why the big gender gap?

Accord to medical experts, both men and women have an equal chance of developing renal issues, and consequently instances of them requiring a kidney transplant are also the same. But the chances of a man finding a kidney donor in their family are much higher, and often the donor is a woman from their family.

Well, the gap can be attributed to women’s cultural training. Women come forward to save the male members of the house – the argument being “men are bread-winners.” A woman also consents to organ donation because it’s been ingrained in her to work for the male members of the family.

Economic parity continues to be a dream. In many cases, due to social and family pressure, women consent to donating a kidney or other organs. In some cases, blood groups are matched even before marriage. And after receiving the needed organ, the wife is dumped.

It's one thing to fast and observe festivities, but not organ donation, especially when it is non-consensual. In an ideal society, the cost of life isn’t determined by gender.

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