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close this bookRural Women and the Environment: Shared Concerns? (IRMA, 1994)
close this folderIntroduction
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentWomen and Nature: Is there a Special Relationship?
View the documentGender and Environmental Change: Impact on Rural Households
View the documentGender division of labour
Open this folder and view contentsGendered Time
View the documentAccess to and Control of Resources
View the documentHealth and Nutrition
View the documentGendered Knowledge
View the documentSocial Support Networks

Health and Nutrition

Inequities in the intra-family distribution of food and health care are further accentuated by environmental degradation, particularly of village commons and forests. Women and children, especially girls, are the first to be affected by efforts to economize on both the quantity and quality of food available, despite the fact that they are expending more energy in providing household subsistence.

"Women are also more directly exposed than men, to waterborne diseases and to the pollution of rivers and ponds with fertilizers and pesticide runoffs... " (Agarwal 1992: 141). In addition, the agricultural tasks performed by women, for example rice transplanting or cotton-picking, leaves them vulnerable to bodily ailments or exposes them to dangerous pesticides.