Why is it important to have a focus on women’s health issues?

 “Why is it important to have a focus on women’s health issues?”

“Why is it important to have a focus on women’s health issues?”_ichhori.com

Many organisations argue for a broader definition referring to women’s overall health, which is often referred to as “women’s reproductive health”. These disparities are exacerbated in developing nations, where women are already marginalised. Although women in developed countries have closed the gender gap in life expectancy and now live longer than men, they still suffer from diseases early and with worse outcomes in many areas of health. Women’ health is determined not just by their biology, but also by situations such as poverty, job, and family duties, hence gender remains a significant social predictor of health. 
Because of biological and gender-related distinctions, being a man or a woman has a substantial impact on health. Women’s and girls’ health is of particular significance since they are disadvantaged in many nations due to prejudice based on sociocultural factors. Some of the societal variables that restrict women and girls from receiving high-quality healthcare and reaching their full potential include:
Unequal power relations between men and women;
Social norms that limit education and paid career options for women;
A singular focus on women’s reproductive obligations;
The threat or experience of physical, sexual, or emotional violence.
While poverty is a significant obstacle to good health for both men and women, it disproportionately affects women and girls’ health due to factors such as poor feeding practises such as malnutrition and the use of dangerous cooking fuels.
Women play a key role in society and family
Women, who are crucial in keeping families healthy, require healthcare systems more than men, both for themselves and for their children. Many women become pregnant and give birth, which is a major health event, and then become their child’s primary caregiver, a role that has substantial impact on family health. Women are more affected by elder and long-term care difficulties than males because they live longer, have higher rates of disability and chronic health problems, have lower earnings on average, making them more reliant on state and community resources. 
A woman’s health is important to herself and her family throughout her life. Women have different healthcare issues than men, and they are more likely to be diagnosed with certain disorders. The top causes of death for women include chronic diseases and ailments such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Uninsured people have a worse time managing chronic diseases, and women are more likely to be uninsured.
Chronic diseases that affect women
1. Heart disease: For women, heart disease is the main cause of death. Upper abdominal pain, lightheadedness, and exhaustion may be more subtle symptoms of a heart attack in women than in men.
2. Cancer: In the United States, cancer claims the lives of about 250,000 women each year. Furthermore, boosting awareness about the symptoms and risk factors for specific malignancies is a vital aspect of early detection and prevention, particularly for cancers of the breast, lung, colon, and skin, which are usually preventable. It is critical that all women understand what they can do to aid in the early detection of breast cancer. Ovarian cancer is frequently diagnosed after it has progressed to the pelvis and stomach. It is more difficult to cure at the stage, and it can be fatal. As a result, women should be cautious and consult their doctor if they are experiencing any of the symptoms or risk factors. 
3. Diabetes: Patients with the condition incur medical costs that are more than double those of individuals without. Heart disease, stroke, amputations, blindness, and kidney disease are major and costly complications of diabetes.
4. Depression: Depression affects twice as many women as it does men. One in every five women may develop the condition at some point in their life, with the majority of cases occurring between the ages of 40 and 59.
5. Osteoporosis: Eight million women over the age of 50 are affected by the condition. Osteoporosis is responsible for 2 million fractures each year, costing $19 billion, and expenses will continue to climb as the population ages.
6. Alzheimer’s Disease: Women are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s disease: two-thirds of persons aged 65 and older with the condition are female, and 60% are those who provide unpaid care to someone with Alzheimer’s who are females. Families are also burdened financially by the condition, as they often cover the majority of the estimated $56,800 average annual cost of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. The number of persons with the condition is anticipated to triple by 2050 as the baby boomer generation ages.
Pregnancy: To protect the physical and psychological well-being of the mother and baby, it is critical to be surrounded by support and assistance during pregnancy. If not addressed effectively, pre-existing diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and depression can worsen during pregnancy. Pregnancy can also lower a healthy mother’s red blood cell count, resulting in anemia, or even cause depression.
Gender equality remains an elusive aim, particularly in the developing world, despite advances in eradicating social and health disparities between men and women during the last century. Women and girls have different health requirements, yet global health systems are failing them. According to the WHO, women’s health has been a top focus in recent years, although data on the subject is limited and often incorrect. Women have a lesser social position than men in most civilisations, resulting in unequal power relations. As a result, women and girls are especially exposed to human rights violations and experience negative health consequences as a result. 
Women, according to some, require special consideration when establishing a global health agenda since they are biologically different from men and so have different requirements throughout their lives. Despite significant progress toward gender equality, women continue to be vulnerable, with many women still unable to exercise their fundamental human rights. The relevance of women’s rights must be recognised in any discussion of the MDGs, since numerous studies have shown that gender equality is a prerequisite for long-tern growth and poverty reduction.
Time to prioritise women’s health
It is critical for women to begin thinking about their health. According to Jean Hailes, there are two key obstacles that prevent women from living a healthy lifestyle. They are:
Lack of time
Health is not a priority. It is no secret that women are busier than ever before, and that they have a tendency to put themselves last on their priority lists.
Women are the foundation of a family’s general health, so ensuring they have access to high-quality care can benefit children and families as well. Women’s health is inextricably linked to the health of families and communities. A woman’s illness or death has substantial and far-reaching effects for her children, family and community’s health. Women’s health is getting a bigger position in society as people recognise that, while women and men suffer from many of the same ailments, their symptoms and treatments are not necessarily the same. After devoting so much time and effort to caring for the lives of others, it is time for women to treat themselves with the same regard. When women invest in their future by staying of their health, they are making positive changes that will last a lifetime. Furthermore, devoting more time to oneself allows to better care for those one loves and cherishes. 
1. https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/improving-womens-health-2013.aspx#:~:text=Women%20experience%20unique%20health%20care,causes%20of%20death%20for%20women.
2. https://www.stjohnhealth.com.au/blog/medical/the-importance-of-womens-health/
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703826/
4. https://www.who.int/health-topics/women-s-health/

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