Gender Disparity In Organ Donation: Study Says Women Often Coerced To Donate Organs | Pune News
PUNE: Financial responsibilities on the male members and cultural upbringing wherein a woman is taught to take care of her family is the cause why more women tend to donate their organs while more men are likely to be recipients. Dr Arpita Chaudhary, joint director of regional organ tissue transplant organization (East Region) which covers the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Sikkim said as per the data collected from several government hospitals, when it comes to live donors and spousal donors, over 90% are wives while only 10% of the donors are husbands. Also, in the case of a parent’s organ donation, over 70% of the live donors are mothers. In addition to more women donating organs, female recipients are less compared to male recipients. “Female literacy rate helps spread progressive ideas. Women donate their organs out of a sense of responsibility as caretakers. Our social structure is such that women feel they must give their time, energy and if required their organs for family members. In villages, where the woman works physically harder than the man, the mother would not let the father donate, the wife would not let the husband donate. However, such donation is not dependent on female literacy and somewhere male dominance plays a pivotal role. In all my 20 years, I have hardly seen a woman refusing to donate,” she said. Dr Bharat Shah, CEO and founder of Narmada Kidney Foundation, said,” Women see men as earning members and volunteer to donate rather. There is also poor understanding about donating an organ like a kidney and that one continues to remain as normal as before. Men often take a kidney from their wife even if a brother would be an ideal donor,” he said. Loss of income during the assessment and donation process, particularly for low-income families, is one of the major reasons why men are less likely to give. Deep-rooted patriarchy is also prevalent. There is also undue coercion and pressure for women to donate, said Dr Vivek Kute, secretary of Indian Society of Organ Transplantation The study established the gender disparity in living organ donors which is huge, said Dr Vasanti Ramesh, former director of NOTTO. An increase in the number of deceased donor transplants in India, particularly for kidney and liver, could lead to a decline in the skewed distribution of deceased to living transplants. This can be achieved through promotion of organ donation and transplant through social media platforms and government programs. Further effective counselling and promotion of organ donation on a larger scale could lead to diminution of the male resistance to becoming a living organ donor, thus also reducing the disparity of male living organ donors, she added.