Being a woman should not be a health risk, but for millions of women around the world, it can be. As the new decade begins, we take a moment to step back and look at a snapshot of women’s health around the world.
There are many measurements for assessing the overall state of women’s health. Instead of looking at figures for specific illnesses, we decided to focus on those that are indicative of the overall state of women’s health in a particular country; life expectancy, maternal mortality, violence against women, early marriage, and suicide.
These sociocultural indicators can both be the signs of poor women’s health and the causes. The World Health Organization identified a number of sociocultural factors that can prevent women and girls from attaining the highest level of healthcare:
- unequal power relationships between men and women;
- social norms that decrease education and paid employment opportunities;
- an exclusive focus on women’s reproductive roles
- potential or actual experience of physical, sexual and emotional violence
In addition to the courageous efforts of healthcare professionals in the field, we are seeing a wave of technological innovation that promises to improve the state of women’s health globally. We look forward to seeing an even brighter future for women everywhere in 2020.
Infographic credit: muchneeded.com