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Factors such as discrimination and sexual violence present some of the greatest dangers in women's health
Despite the fact that women have a higher life expectancy in most countries, some social factors are combined with health services so that their life quality is lower. Here are five dangers and needs that exist today when it comes to women's health.
Leer en español: 5 peligros en la salud de las mujeres
1. Sexual violence
According to the WHO, factors such as physical or sexual violence by the couple, forced marriages at an early age or sexual exploitation affect the health of women. Studies say that 1/5 of women say they have suffered some type of sexual abuse before age 15, which has led to all kinds of health consequences, both physical and mental. This has made women at high risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies or abortions, and even chronic diseases and depression.
The pace of life of working women today can have health consequences, including infertility. Although many women want to achieve a balance between professional life and motherhood, many others have preferred to focus on the former. According to the Imbanaco Medical Center, "women impose challenges and commitments, which they prioritize and for which they leave aside or postpone other commitments, no less important, that affect their health, well-being and future."
Without judging which decision is better, a rhythm of life with as much pressure as that of a woman who dedicates her life to work can go against health. From high levels of stress, hormonal changes can affect menstrual cycles. These changes can even affect to such a point that the system of hormones that enable ovulation is blocked, thus increasing the rates of infertility.
3. Lung damage
These damages occur more than anything in communities in which, unlike the previous point, the role of women is still to be in charge of the house. When the kitchen is one of the occupations of women, organs such as the lung can be compromised. According to WHO, cooking in traditional fires or kitchens causes women to breathe a mixture with different contaminants daily. Derived from this, it can give chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is estimated that almost half of deaths from this disease are related to these fumes. However, only 12% of these deaths are of men.
4. Alcohol abuse
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the same diseases manifest themselves in different ways in men and women. Among them, mental, cardiac and sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, alcohol abuse stands out among these differences.
They claim that "while men are more likely to have alcohol dependence or addiction than women during their lives, the effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism are more severe in women." This abuse can have consequences such as an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease or mental illness. These last two, by themselves, are more serious and more common in women. Thet can also develop fetal alcohol syndrome, a disease in which the affected one is the baby born to a mother who consumes alcohol, because it ends up suffering brain damage and learning difficulties.
5. Gender focus
The gender approach is necessary in health. This point, unlike the previous ones, does not speak of a disease in which women are more vulnerable or not, but it focuses on the way of studying and conceiving global health. This refers to the fact that it is necessary to take from different angles what corresponds to women and men. Currently, everything is put into the same package, without realizing that the challenges, the life quality, the needs, sexual division at work and access to women's health are different from those of men.
La salud femenina nunca ha sido priotiraria para la medicina. Se ha considerado lo masculino como sinónimo de lo humano y salud femenina sólo se estudia en base a la reproducción. A las mujeres se las diagnostica de trastornos psicosomáticos cuando no se sabe qué les ocurre. Mis reflexiones en mi último post con link en la biografía. #saludfemenina #saludmujeres #sesgosandrocentricos #sesgossalud #hablemosdefeminismo
Women today are not the same as they were years ago, their roles have been changing and competition with men has been increasing. In this way, according to the Spanish Journal of Public Health, it is no longer enough to conceive a differential approach only when talking about maternity, but it is necessary in all areas of health.
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez
Translated from "5 peligros en la salud de las mujeres"