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WOMEN, HEALTH AND JUSTICE


From 18-02-2013 To 18-02-2013
DECLARATION OF THE KOLKATA GROUP
 

At the Tenth Annual Kolkata Group Workshop, 40 policy makers, scholars, 
activists and development experts convened to address the state of women, health
equity and social justice in India.

While recognizing the significant Indian achievements over the past decade, the
Kolkata Group identified two major gaps in these fields. First is the abysmal state
of health care driven by the absence of systematic recognition of the need for
universal health coverage and the crucial role of public health care. And second is
the slow and very limited progress in women's rights that includes a host of
inequities, insecurities, and injustices. 

The most urgent need in healthcare in India today is for an affirmative approach
that advances universal health coverage through reversing the financial neglect of
public health care and the removal of debilitating illusions about what private
health care and commercial insurance can achieve without firm and active public
health provisions. Effective regulations and ethical professionalism are also
essential. 

The violations of women's rights are related to the continuation of early child
marriage, violence against women, discriminatory practices, the impunity and bias
that permeate the functioning of the legal and police systems, malnutrition of
women and children, increasing prevalence of sex selection at birth as well as
inadequate women's autonomy, health, education, and freedoms. The steps ahead
must recognize the recommendations of the Justice J.S. Verma Committee Report
promoting women's bodily integrity, dignity and sexual autonomy. Serious
attention should also be paid to health, education, nutrition as well as the lack of
adequate recognition of women's well-being and agency. 

Chaired by Amartya Sen, Kolkata Group attendees were Sabina Alkire, Louis-
Georges Arsenault, Shabana Azmi, Abhay Bang, Countess Albina du Boisrouvray,
Lori Calvo, Achin Chakraborty, Gregory Chen, Lincoln Chen, Abhijit
Chowdhury, Asim Dasgupta, Keshav Desiraju, Antara Dev Sen, Jean Dreze,
Shiban Ganju, Dilip Ghosh, Joaquin Gonzalez-Aleman, R. Govinda, Shaibal
Gupta, Pratik Kanjilal, Manabi Mazumdar, Surjya Kanta Misra, Nachiket Mor,
Poonam Muttreja, Sridhar Rajagopalan, Kumar Rana, Sujatha Rao, Srinath Reddy,
Nidhi Sabharwal, Abhijit Sen, Amartya Sen, Nandana Sen, A. K. Shiva Kumar,
Amarjeet Sinha, Shantha Sinha, Sukhadeo Thorat and Sitaram Yechury.     

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