Women 'deprived of healthcare'10th November 2009
Social inequalities worldwide deprive women of the health care they need, according to a recent study by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
WHO Director General Margaret Chan said that it is time to pay girls and women back by making sure that they get the care and support they need.
She said that women have the right to enjoy health at every moment of their lives.
The WHO report highlights the fact that women are often deprived of health care during the years when they need it most, in old age and at puberty.
This situation exists especially in low and middle income countries, where the elderly often receive a minimum of care, but also in rich countries with low birth rates, where many elderly people may compete for the same care.
Chan said that unequal power relations between men and women translate into unequal access to health care, as well as inequalities in health resources.
She said that humanity has not progressed at all if women are still regarded as second-class citizens in so many parts of the world.
The report said that one of the greatest challenges facing women who age is dementia, which becomes more and more prevalent as people pass the age of 65.
The disease is more of a concern for women than for men, since women often live longer than men.
The WHO said that women should also be taught how to live healthy lifestyles so that chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and obstructive lung diseases do not affect them.
It said that, because many of the world's 600 million adolescent girls are marginalised by poverty, harmful traditions, geographical isolation, and other limiting factors, their negative experiences during puberty will shape their lives enormously.
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Title: Women 'deprived of healthcare'
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 13203
Date Added: 10th Nov 2009