India’s Covid gender gap: women left behind in vaccination drive
As of 25 June, of the 309m Covid vaccine doses delivered since January 2021, 143m were administered to women compared with nearly 167m to men, Deep-rooted structural inequalities and patriarchal values are to blame for India’s worrying Covid vaccine gender gap,
India’s most populous state with the highest number of people living in rural areas has administered 29m vaccines. Of this figure, which includes first and second doses, 42% were given to women. West Bengal, the fourth most populous state, is also lagging behind with women receiving 44% of doses.
“There is hesitancy because of rumors about side-effects, and how the vaccine affects fertility and menstruation,” said Imad, a junior fellow at Mumbai. “But there are other factors such as women not being able to access the technology needed to register for it, not having information on where the centers are, or not being able to go to the centers alone.
Women often also need permission from their husbands to get vaccinated. Even if they get that, if their husbands are unavailable to accompany them… they miss out.”