The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty
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The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty

Concepts, Research, Policy

Edited by Sylvia Chant

In the interests of contextualising (and nuancing) the multiple interrelations between gender and poverty, Sylvia Chant has gathered writings on diverse aspects of the subject from a range of disciplinary and professional perspectives, achieving extensive thematic as well as geographical coverage. This benchmark volume presents women’s and men’s experiences of gendered poverty with respect to a vast spectrum of intersecting issues including local to global economic transformations, family, age, ‘race’, migration, assets, paid and unpaid work, health, sexuality, human rights, and conflict and violence.
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Chapter 51: Gender, HIV/AIDS and Carework in India: A Need for Gender-sensitive Policy

Keerty Nakray


Keerty Nakray This chapter explores the relevance of gender-sensitive budgeting in the context of gendered experience of Human Immunodeficiency Virus or Acquired Immunological Syndrome (HIV/AIDS). It draws attention to the strenuous nature of the carework women undertake for their intimate partners. Women in India contract the illness owing to their biological, social and economic vulnerability. Furthermore, the onset of this stigmatising condition exacerbates the poverty and privation women suffer on account of their lack of formal and informal support systems and poor entitlements in relation to property, education, nutrition and financial resources. In order to explore how HIV/AIDS is associated with, as well as deepening, women’s experience of poverty, this chapter draws upon qualitative in-depth interviews carried out in 2007 with 60 poor women living with HIV/AIDS, and with policy informants, in three Indian cities: Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi. The narratives of these women draw attention to the need for gender-sensitive policies in relation to HIV/AIDS. Understanding the feminisation of HIV/AIDS in the Indian context In the year 2006, it was estimated that 2.5 million (between 2 and 3.1 million) persons in India lived with HIV, which approximates to around 0.36 per cent of the adult population. Of these, 39 per cent are women and 3.8 per cent are children. According to the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), India is a low prevalence country, and more men are infected than women; in absolute numbers the prevalence rate for adult females is 0.29 per cent while for males it is...

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