Health Women, Healthy Economies

Girls’ and women’s health is in transition and, although some aspects of it have improved substantially in the past few decades, there are still important unmet needs. Population ageing and transformations in the social determinants of health have increased the coexistence of disease burdens related to reproductive health, nutrition, and infections, and the emerging epidemic of chronic and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Key Messages
  • Economic, environmental, social, political, and demographic transitions aff ect women’s health and their rights and roles in society, leading to a complex epidemiological transition and increased caregiving needs and demands.
  • To ensure that women’s comprehensive health needs are met throughout life, health systems and societies should simultaneously and eff ectively address the unfi nished reproductive health, nutrition, and infectious disease agendas and the emerging epidemic of chronic and non-communicable diseases
  • The response to non-communicable diseases so far is not commensurate with their burden among women, who are especially vulnerable because of biology, gender, and other social determinants
  • Poor women typically receive care from the most disenfranchised members of the health system, leading to ill health and perpetuation of inequities among population groups; for the health of all to be improved, this cycle needs to be broken
  • Women’s contributions in the health-care labour force and their crucial roles in the health care of families and communities are drivers of the wealth and health of nations, but are still underappreciated; on the basis of an analysis of 32 countries accounting for 52% of the world’s population, we estimated that the fi nancial value of women’s contributions in the health system in 2010 was 2ÅE35% of global gross domestic product (GDP) for unpaid work and 2ÅE47% of GDP for paid work—the equivalent of US$3ÅE052 trillion
  • Few gender-sensitive policies exist that enable women to integrate their social, biological, and occupational roles, function to their full capacity, and realise their fundamental human rights
  • Sustainable development needs women’s social, economic, and environmental contributions, which will increase when women are healthy, valued, enabled, and empowered to reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives, including in their roles as providers of health care

Women and Health in a changing world

Women are agents of change, aff ecting the world around them, but they are aff ected by global and local transitions.

Created By
Gerardo Perez Castillo

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