Big Differences In Who Gets And Gives Organs in India

Dive into the stark gender gap in Indian organ transplants, revealing societal norms and challenges faced by women as donors.

Dive into the stark gender gap in Indian organ transplants, revealing societal norms and challenges faced by women as donors.

A report was released a few days ago by the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization of India about the number of male and female organ recipients in India.

The report is an irrefutable indicator of the gender disparity existing in our country, and it is alarming because of the picture it paints of a society that, at the very least, considers its women expendable.

When the numbers tell a startling story

The report states that between 1995 and 2021, out of every five transplants, four recipients were men, and one was a woman. Assuming that there is no disparity in the requirement of a transplant based on gender, this figure is concerning.

Combining this with the fact that the majority of living donors in India are women paints a bleak picture of the importance of women in our society.

An organ transplant is a major surgery. The replacement of hearts, kidneys, livers, and lungs requires the donor to be healthy and strong enough to go through the taxing procedure. There is even a chance of things going wrong for both the recipient and the donor, with the extreme case being death due to complications.

Yet, it is a fact that 80% of living donors are women. Mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters step up to donate their organs to the members of their families. It is notable that men, who are portrayed as the stronger of the sexes, fail to deliver when the situation arises.

The high incidence of organ donation among women might be whitewashed as being their wish to help and nurture, and sometimes a dutiful sacrifice. However, the truth is that women are almost always judged less than men. And when the man of the house needs an organ, the onus of organ donation falls on the woman. Brothers, fathers, sons, and husbands have the excuse of breadwinning to hide behind.

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Women have no excuse, despite devoting their whole life to their families or perhaps because of it. She is the one who has to take care of everyone in the family, and when the time comes, she shouldn’t back out from donating an organ or two.

Why organ donation in India Is not the same for everyone

It is strange that in a country where women are not free to dress according to their wishes, they are free to donate their organs so freely. This is despite the long-term effects that might plague them, leading to reduced ability, lifelong discomfort, and the requirement of continuous care and medication.

It does make one wonder whether all the cases of donation are voluntary or if coercion is involved in some of them, despite the laws that are there to prevent such cases.

When it comes to cases of women being recipients of organ transplants, the bleak figures cement the fact that our society just does not believe in spending time, money, energy, and care on a woman. Patriarchy dictates that a woman is replaceable, even expendable. One can always remarry, plan for another daughter, or accept the will of God.

After all, a woman must look after others, not demand others to look after her.

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About the Author

Sheerin Shahab

Sheerin Shahab is an introvert who prefers a book over company any day. Hence, she is a reader, a nature lover, and a die-hard chai fan. She loves to read and write short stories read more...

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