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For the Public Good
Women, Health, and Equity in Rural India

Author(s): Patricia Antoniello

For the Public Good details the role of the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP), a groundbreaking, internationally recognized primary health care model that uses local solutions to solve intractable global health problems. Emphasizing equity and community participation, this grassroots approach recruits local women to be educated as village-based health workers. In turn, women village health workers collaborate to overcome the dominant double prejudices in local villages—caste and gender inequality.

In one generation, village health workers have progressed from child brides and sequestered wives to knowledgeable health practitioners, valued teachers, and community leaders. Through collective efforts, CRHP has reduced infant and maternal mortality, eliminated some endemic health problems, and advanced economic well-being in villages with women's cooperative lending groups.

This book describes how the recognition and elimination of embedded inequalities—in this case caste discrimination, gender subordination, and class injustice—promote health and well-being and collaboratively establish the public good.

Biography of Author(s)

Patricia Antoniello is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at Brooklyn College, City University of New York.