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Gender Parity and Health
Women and Health: Today’s Evidence, Tomorrow’s Agenda
This report by the World Health Organization (WHO) assesses the current situation of girls and women around the world on health parameters. In particular, it addresses the consequences of failing to address health issues for girls and women as well as the inequality women face in healthcare. Drawing on data from the WHO’s records, it examines gender inequality in limiting access to health information and influencing health-related decisions. The report begins with the progression of a female’s birth to adulthood with key discussions about infant mortality, female genital mutilation, menstruation, reproductive rights, and maternal health. Key findings include the importance of a fair start for all girls, how gender gap changes within countries based on income level, and diseases, mental health issues, and injuries are significant health concerns for women. Finally, the WHO highlights ways policy and healthcare reform can eliminate gender inequality.
Economic Impact of Child Marriage: Preliminary Findings from Analyses of Existing Data
Child Marriage, affecting girls marrying below age 18, has significant economic impacts, as the World Bank examines in this study. In addition to harmful effects on girls’ health, educational attainment, rights and well-being, the economic impacts of child marriage, from the individual to the national levels, are significant. The study indicates how eliminating child marriage could lead to benefits valued at more than $25 billion. In particular, ending child marriage would help alleviate poverty, as there are higher rates of child marriage among these populations.
Women and Vaccinations: From smallpox to the future, a tribute to a partnership benefiting humanity for over 200 years
Women have been involved in the development of vaccines since the 18th century and continue the partnership. The paper highlights the rewards women have received from vaccines including safer pregnancies and more economic empowerment. Women’s involvement with vaccines will continue as more vaccines are developed for women around the world. In relation to the Millennium Development goals, the authors suggest that vaccines relate to the goal of improving maternal health and promoting women’s empowerment. The partnership between women and vaccinations must continue in order to reduce the gender gap around the world.
For Her it’s the Big Issue: Putting Women at the Center of Water Supply and Sanitation
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council in addition to the Water Engineering and Development Center highlights cases and projects that demonstrate the impact women play in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) projects. The paper proposes that if women are involved in improving WASH programs, then the progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals will significantly increase. Women are in charge of fetching water, taking care of the household, and caring for children in most families, therefore they are at the center of the water and sanitation issues. By highlighting collections of projects and evidence, the paper argues that putting women at the core of WASH programs benefits the community as a whole and reduces the gender gap.
Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health
Women’s and Children’s health is integral to all the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. As the paper highlights, women and children play a vital role in development. In particular, research indicates women’s health reduces poverty, stimulates economic growth, is cost-effective in preventing illness, and provides fundamental rights. Therefore, the report provides a global strategy for addressing health issues to reach the Millennium Development Goals, including focusing on country-led health plans, offering comprehensive health services unique to women, promoting integrated care, health systems strengthening, health workforce capacity building, and coordinated innovation. Many poor countries have seen progress with focusing on these initiatives. For example, in Sri Lanka, maternal mortality was reduced by 87% in the past 40 years by ensuring women receive four doctor visits and give birth in a health facility. However, more progress is to be done to reach development milestones.
Gender Differences in Subjective Well-Being: Comparing Societies with Respect to Gender Equality
This paper examines the relationship between gender inequality and well-being. Results come from comparative data sets (World Values Survey, involving 57 countries; OASIS project, involving Norway, England, Germany, Spain and Israel) to test the hypothesis that gender inequality is related to well-being. The size of gender differences varied with the extent of societal gender inequality along with cultural attitudes regarding gender equality in different countries. Gender differences in well-being could therefore be related to gender specific access to goal relevant resources.
Gender as a Cross-Cutting Issue in Food Security: The NuME Project and Quality Protein Maize in Ethiopia
This paper focuses on the gender dynamics of agricultural technology in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many studies have been performed to show the impact of empowering women for food security and better health in rural areas. A gender-based analysis of Nutritious Maize for Ethiopia (NuME) project, a partnership between international and national institutes for agriculture and health, was performed. Using case studies and baseline data from a survey of 470 households in Ethiopia, the analysis shows the impact and adoption of protein maize. After quantitative analysis, the findings suggest that women face barriers in the adoption and effectiveness of agricultural technologies, including less contact with agricultural extension, lower awareness, less input on decision about adoption, production, and marketing. Furthermore, the analysis shows a link between gender inequality and food insecurity, however the paper proposes strategies for women empowerment and policy reform to improve women’s access to agricultural technologies.
Psychosocial Stress and Cardiovascular Disease in Women: Concepts, Findings, Future Perspectives
This book explores coronary heart disease as a newly recognized leading killed of women. Chapters examine the causal factors including social dimensions to environmental interactions to the demands of balancing work and family. The role of psychosocial stress is traced throughout the text to offer suggestions for sociologists, cardiologists, and physicians to understand the causal factors of the disease as it relates to the differences between men and women and create preventative interventions.
Global, regional, and national levels and causes of maternal mortality during 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013
Focusing on the Millennium Development Goal of reducing the maternal mortality ratio by 75% from 1990 to 2015, this paper measures the changes in this ratio and the causes contributing most frequently to maternal death. Using statistical methods with data from 188 countries, the data analyzes the timing of maternal death to delivery and suggests that only 16 countries will achieve the Millennium Development Goal. The analysis brings to light increases in maternal mortality in some countries and regions that are making slow progress, especially in west and central Africa. The information measures the reduction in maternal mortality based on an increase in assistance for maternal, newborn, and child health. Substantial variations in the maternal mortality ratio were found by country and region.
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights – The Key to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
Among growing research on gender equality and women’s empowerment, this report focuses on the central role of sexual and reproductive health rights as a key to achieving gender parity. The health benefits of reproductive rights are often studied, however this report focuses on the non-health related benefits of reproductive rights, including social, economic, and political participation. The report acknowledges that more research must be performed on the social and economic implications of reproductive rights. Using research reviewed from over 350 sources, this report explores three cores areas and how they are related to reproductive rights, including: equality in social development, economic participation and participation in political and public life. The report argues that gender equality cannot be achieved without sexual and reproductive health rights and makes recommendations for the public sector, governments, and society to focus on women’s health rights.
Ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information and services
This document provides guidance for policy-makers, managers, providers, and others in the health sector for actions necessary to ensure that human rights dimensions are integrated in contraceptive information and services. The paper highlights the unmet need for contraception among 222 million women living in poverty, rural or urban areas, contributing to high maternal and infant mortality rates. The World Health Organization report describes recommendations for ensuring non-discrimination, availability, accessibility, acceptability, high-quality, education, privacy, accountability, and participation in contraceptive services and information among women. The paper was written by determining critical questions and outcomes, retrieving evidence, grading evidence, presenting the evidence and developing recommendations. A Guideline Steering Group of international stakeholders in women’s health was used to develop questions and outcomes and case studies and research were used to build evidence and formulate recommendations for integrating human rights into contraceptive information and services.
The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030)
This report includes a health strategy for women, children, and adolescents, updated from 2010 to include a more ambitious agenda. The main goals focus on: survive, thrive and transform. Survive means the pursuit to end preventable deaths, thrive means ensuring health and well-being through aspects like nutritional needs and reproductive health, and transform means expanding enabling environments such as equal education and eliminating poverty. These goals seek to reach the Millennium Development Goals set out but the United Nations and promise high returns in health, education, social development, and economic activity. The strategy report was developed through more than 7,000 individuals and organizations collaborating through the drafting process through consultations like the World Health Assembly 2015 and other evidence-based papers about global health strategy.
Science, Sex and Society – why maternal mortality is still a global health issue
This paper, directed to anaesthetists, highlights the causes and issues with maternal mortality. The author refers to the work of the UN Millennium Development goals, and highlights that the goals from 2015 to 2030 are the Sustainable Development goals, which focus less on survival and more on well-being and living. The author explains maternal mortality based on science, sex, and society, arguing that all three have a sufficient influence on why maternal mortality is still a problem. Recognizing that maternal deaths are more of a problem in areas of conflict, poverty, and low to middle income countries, the author argues that science needs to include pregnant women in more research studies and clinical trials to encourage future researchers to become engaged with issues related to pregnant women. The role of sex, including the mistrust of health systems and societal norms contribute to delays in pregnant women seeking care, affecting maternal deaths. In addition, society’s role in maternal mortality is recognized as women having less voice and agency and gender inequality contributes to unsafe choices leading to maternal mortality. Therefore, using references and research reviews, the author argues the that issue of maternal mortality is intertwined with science, sex, and society.
Women’s occupational health and safety management: An issue for corporate social responsibility
This study conducted a survey of 117 companies in Spain with different levels of commitment to gender equality in order to measure the extent to which gender perspective is taken into account in Occupational Health & Safety management (OHS). Overall the practices questioned in the survey were used to a moderate amount and their impact is limited. The paper explores the relations between women’s OHS and Corporate Social Responsibility with key findings that indicate most initiatives focus on prevention and punishment of sexual harassment in the workplace while compliance with the law and recognition of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are key drivers in promoting the gender perspective in OHS. Therefore, a framework is presented for addressing women’s OHS that goes beyond sexual harassment and includes additional issues, with CSR as a driver.
Women and Microfinancing of Water and Sanitation in Communities with Expanding Population in Nigeria
The paper describes an initiative of the Women Associations in Obizi communities in Nigeria, where women were provided credit services and loans to engage in water and sanitation businesses in order to alleviate the issue of demand and supply in communities of expanding populations. The findings of this experiment show that this method has been successful in expanding access to sanitation and water while generating income for households. Therefore, similar methods are recommended for other areas of the country where this may be an issue.
Effect of women’s empowerment on their utilization of health services: A case of Nepal
This study uses a sample of 7878 previously pregnant women from Nepal to examine if women empowerment is associated to health service use. The issue of maternal mortality cause over half a million women to die annually, therefore this could have implications for saving lives. Key findings show that three of the five indicators of empowerment; women’s age at birth of their first child, their education and knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases, significantly increased utilization of health services, especially antenatal and delivery services. Therefore, this paper discusses the important implications the role of education and knowledge can have on the use of health services.