International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is observed on 8th March to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year, the theme for IWD is #BreakTheBias.1

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), the American author and abolitionist, once wrote, ‘A woman’s health is her capital’. The disempowerment and discrimination against women and girls in our global society often put them at a greater health risk than men. According to the World Health Organization, some of these risks are: 2

  • Unbalanced power relationships between men and women
  • Social circumstances that lessen education and paid employment opportunities
  • An exclusive focus on women’s need to reproduce
  • The potential or actual experience of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse
  • Poverty, such as malnutrition and an unsafe cooking environment
  • Problems accessing information

Women comprise nearly half of the global population and significantly influence the well-being of their families, communities, and economy. Yet there is a worldwide disparity in women’s healthcare, widespread gender bias persists despite best intentions. Gender bias has a significant negative effect on the medical diagnoses and the quality of healthcare women receive, leading to substantial delays in diagnosis as well as misdiagnosis and, in some cases, death.3

Patients, doctors, researchers, and administrators can all hold biased views about gender, and these views can affect how the healthcare system works and ultimately have a serious impact on health outcomes. Gender bias is a preference often based on false beliefs or generalisations.3

It’s important to focus on self-health and the health of loved ones and others close to you. Womanhood involves encouragement, support, and community, and health is one of those areas where women can lift each other.3

Make health an easy topic of conversation with your friends and family. Share health tips and related concerns. Join fitness groups or go to the gym or for a jog. Set goals together and celebrate when you achieve them. Watch out for any warning signs for bad physical or mental health. And, most importantly, give out those compliments!3

Individually, we are all responsible for our thoughts and actions – all day, every day.1

 

We can break the bias in our communities.

We can break the bias in our workplaces.

We can break the bias in our colleges and universities.

Healthier women for today for a better tomorrow. This International Women’s Day, let us break the bias in women’s healthcare.

 

To find out more about International Women’s Day and how you can get involved, visit https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

 

References

  1. International Women’s Day. Available at: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/theme. Accessed on February 2022.
  2. Modern living can mean busy living – and does our health suffer? Available at: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Missions/14382/Modern-living-can-mean-busy-living-and-does-our-health-suffer. Accessed on February 2022.
  3. Power, privilege, and priorities: Break the bias in women’s healthcare. Available at: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Missions/17128/Power-privilege-and-priorities-Break-the-bias-in-women-s-healthcare. Accessed on February 2022.