Gender discrimination in relation to breast feeding practices in rural areas of Bijapur district, Karnataka


  • Mahabaleshwar Mahantappa Angadi Department of Community Medicine, BLDEU’s SBMPMC, Bijapur, Karnataka, India
  • Shashank Kumbarahalli Jawaregowda Department of Community Medicine, Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, B G Nagar, Mandya, Karnataka, India



Keywords, Gender, Gender discrimination, Bijapur district, Breastfeeding


Background: Gender is a common term whereas gender discrimination is meant for women, because females are more often the victims. Denial of equality, rights and opportunity and supplement in any form on the basis of gender is gender discrimination. Gender discrimination is due to the attitude and behaviour of the society towards the girl child. The girl child faces the neglect of the family in the form of a failure to provide her the basic necessities of life in terms of food, clothing, love, shelter, supervision, education and medical care. Differential treatment of the boys and girls within families can be attributed to the social religious, cultural and economic returns that sons provide to their parents relative to daughters. A clear understanding of past trends, current situation and future plans is the need of the hour. Within the scope on hand, this study was undertaken to review the existing situation of under five year children group from the perspectives of disparity in Breastfeeding practices. Objectives:  To assess the prevalence of gender bias in breast feeding practices and various socio demographic factors responsible for it.  

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted across the ten villages (2 villages per taluk) of Bijapur district from January 2013 to November 3013. A total of 404 children aged less than two years of age were included in the study. After obtaining the oral consent of mothers, data was collected in a pre-tested, pre designed, semi structured questionnaire by interview technique.  

Results: Out of the 404 children below the age of two years, 45.3% males and 40.6% females were initiated breast milk within one hour after delivery. Around 48 % (41% Male and 55% Female) were administered prelacteal feeds soon after delivery.  

Conclusions: Inspite of the IEC activities which are carried out by the health workers, the practice of prelacteal feed administration was practiced by nearly half of the study population. There was no much difference among the both the gender regarding the breastfeeding practices.


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