Increasing number of women share the family planning burden
A statistics obtained through an application filed under the RTI Act indicates the widening gender inequality. As per the reply provided to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the number of female sterilisation cases has increased from 18,505 in 2009-10 to 25,228 in 2012-13 in Delhi. However, in the corresponding period, the male sterilisation surgeries have come down to 1,892 from 4,386.
The increase in the number of tubectomy cases is a reflection of:
- the attitude of society towards women.
- the growing awareness among women about birth control.
Experts have expressed the view that notwithstanding the government’s population policy, women continue to share the burden of birth control disproportionately. Sanjay Sharma, director, Health Rights Initiative, has claimed that several government sterilisation camps violate the National Population Policy by promoting tubectomy (female sterilisation) without informed consent. Tubectomy is said to be promoted while vasectomy (male sterilisation) takes a back seat.
Many males perceive that a vasectomy procedure would affect their sexual vigour or potency, and therefore, persuade their wives to go for tubectomy. Doctors have repeatedly pointed that vasectomy is a simpler and safer surgery than tubectomy as a method for birth control. Vasectomy rarely needs general anaesthesia unlike tubectomy which usually requires general anaesthesia. Tubectomy requires a laparoscope which is inserted inside the abdomen and the risks are higher than those in vasectomy.
The figures point to severe lack of awareness programmes about family planning and sterilisation in the capitol city. If such is the state of affairs in Delhi, what would be the situation in the rest of the country?