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Female health workers in South Asia are advocating for recognition and acknowledgment.


 –  health workers and volunteers for a day of door-to-door

Pooja Gupta exited a tuk-tuk and joined other community health workers and volunteers to go door-to-door for the day. health workers 

The protestors raised their fists and shouted chants against Indian authorities, claiming that they are paid low wages despite being given increasing amounts of work.

people have

Similar to Gupta, countless individuals have. female health workers across South 

People in Asia are calling for fundamental rights and social safeguards that they are currently being deprived of, such as fair wages, sick days, parental leave, and retirement benefits.

Gupta, speaking at a recent protest outside an administrative office in Haryana, India, for Thomson Reuters Foundation, expressed frustration with the lack of recognition and support for their constant work. They highlighted instances of rushing to assist a woman in labor at midnight and caring for an injured child, yet receiving no acknowledgment for their efforts in their communities.

Gupta, who suffers from a torn ligament in her right leg, expressed that she and her colleagues are being taken advantage of and treated poorly. She also mentioned that her supervisor shows little understanding for the pain she experiences while working door-to-door.

She stated that the surgery would require a minimum of 75,000 Indian rupees ($900), which is nearly 20 times her monthly income.

Health Activists in India.

Gupta, who is 39 years old, is among the 1 million Accredited Social Health Activists in India. Health Activists – or ASHA workers – who are usuall technology

As the initial point of contact in predominantly rural areas of India, where technology is frequently limited. healthcare facilities.

community have made great contributions to the discussion

Numerous individuals in this community have made valuable additions to the conversation. all
Since the beginning of August, female employees in various regions of India have been participating in strikes to demand official job agreements in order to receive wages and work benefits.

no salary

At the moment, they are considered unpaid volunteers. all

Bonuses and perks are not included in the minimum wage laws set by state governments.

government have

The government of Haryana, both at the state and federal level, possesses health 

There was no response from the ministries despite multiple requests for comment.

distribution system

Over 20,000 ASHAs in Haryana are advocating for a raise in their monthly salary from 4,000 rupees to 26,000 rupees to adequately compensate for their increasing range of duties, which include conducting surveys on various illnesses and drug use and assisting families in accessing a public distribution system. health insurance scheme.

Sarita Devi expressed her frustration at the inability to sustain oneself with this amount of money. She questioned why it is necessary to constantly plead for fundamental necessities.

A single mother with three kids who relies on donations of cash, groceries, and clothing from the families she assists.

“My children would not have food or access to education without their support.”

 

INVESTMENT ‘A NO-BRAINER’

The scenario is comparable in other areas of the region.

Female health workers 

A joint “Charter of Demands” was released in August by India, Nepal, and Pakistan through the global union Public Services International (PSI).all 

Urging governments and international agencies to acknowledge and support their rights.

h

“I find it astonishing that they are unable to accomplish that, shaking my head.”all 

The budget available demonstrates a lack of appreciation for the efforts of these women. It should be a given to invest in them,” stated Kate Lappin, PSI’s Asia secretary.

Lappin encouraged major financial backers such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to support women who face serious risks, including violence and extreme weather conditions, while serving their communities. These dangers are often worsened by climate change.

“Primary health 

She stated that it provides a significant financial advantage.

woman, has been

Balika Subedi, a woman who is 55 years old, has been. health 

A laborer in Nepal’s Pyuthan district, earning 400 Nepalese rupees ($3) per day, expressed a desire for a increased monthly wage and additional perks, such as a set schedule and retirement coverage.

my notifications and comments.”

“I have traversed steep inclines on blazing hot days and in torrential rain to send out my notifications and comments.” health 

Subedi stated that due to limited transportation, she frequently has to travel for days on foot without access to food or water in order to reach remote villages.

However, the remuneration we receive for our work is minimal.

While Lady Health Workers
The Local Health Workers (LHWs) in Pakistan are classified as official government workers and receive fixed salaries instead of stipends. However, they still have grievances.

-time

They are requesting regular salary increases that reflect their level of experience, for a full-time position. health

Some benefits provided may include health insurance coverage, compensation for time off due to illness, and time off for maternity leave.

Sindh Lady Health Workers (LHW) Union.

Bushra Bano Arain, the chairperson of the Sindh Lady Health Workers (LHW) Union, stated that they have always accepted any work given to them and have not complained about their workload increasing. All Pakistan Lady Health Workers Union.

We desire fair treatment and to receive what is rightfully ours.

al languages

No language is officially recognized in any of the three countries or individual provinces and states.all

They have addressed the requests up to this point.

 

WOMEN’S HEALTH AT RISK?

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, praised the efforts of ASHA. workers 

– individuals responsible for a string of prominent events health  Health Organization (WHO)

Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched campaigns related to India’s response and vaccination efforts for COVID-19. Health 

The organization recognized them for their exceptional impact on the public. health.

Sona Mitra, a principal economist at IWWAGE in Delhi, stated that the system would have failed without their presence. IWWAGE is an organization aimed at improving the economic opportunities for women and girls.

Mitra stated that the benefits to the community resulting from ASHA’s efforts greatly exceed the minimal financial expense of regularization.

all

She stated that it is a great source of employment for women and also helps other women.

If the government lacks resources, it should entice the private sector by highlighting the potential for profitable returns on investments in this sector and emphasizing the need for investments.

government’s plans to increase spending on infrastructure could lead to more pollution

Activists caution that the government’s proposal to raise investment in infrastructure may result in a rise in pollution levels. health  support

Women and children would be the most affected if they did not receive support from their community. health workers

Their recent strike serves as evidence.

Due to the strike, Lata, a 24-year-old woman from Karnal district in Haryana, was unable to contact her “ASHA Didi” (older sister) when she suffered a uterine rupture in late August, two weeks after giving birth via caesarean section.

“I was experiencing immense pain. I felt lost without her,” said Lata, who prefers to be addressed by one name, during a phone conversation.

“I kept call

“I tried calling her, but her phone was turned off,” she stated while recuperating at her residence after a short hospitalization. “I really miss her.” – Reuters