The Health Impact of Gender Inequality
Providing education to women can make a major
difference in their health care.
gender equality is one of the most important global efforts taking place in
the world today. When women and girls are able to receive educations and make
decisions about their future, society benefits in many ways, including in the
realm of health care.
The Relationship Between Gender and
Although great strides are being made in the field of health
care and maternal health in developing countries, discrimination against
girls and women still occurs in many cultures, having a negative effect on
families living in poverty. Giving girls access to educational opportunities
to encourage literacy is one of the most effective ways of bridging this
gender gap and improving health care. Even small victories on the march
toward equality can make a major difference in the lives of girls and women
living in poverty.
According to a 2011 report from the World Health
primary education to young girls has been shown to negatively impact
fertility rates, birth spacing, health literacy and healthy behaviors. Similar
reports have found that educating women in Africa and Latin America lowers
their risk of becoming infected with HIV.
opportunities, young girls and women are able to become well-versed in the
safest health practices, learning the best ways to deal with common issues in
their communities. Training women to become health workers, especially within
the realm of maternal care, can foster independence while building a
sustainable health care system. Additionally, knowledge allows these women to
make informed decisions about personal health care, which in turn can help
them avoid preventable diseases or potentially dangerous procedures.
In many countries that ChildFund serves, we have helped train women to
work with mothers in these impoverished communities, providing good
information about their health and their children's development. In Indonesia,
for example, women known as "health
cadres" have caused a cultural shift in their communities, leading more
women to have their babies in hospitals instead of at home. This had led to
lower birth mortality rates.
Promoting Gender Equality
As we see
daily in news reports, we have a long way to go before all women have the
chance to live independent, fulfilled lives, but we are making some headway.
Whether it's providing young girls with access to education, making sure that
young mothers have the necessary maternal care, or equipping women with the
knowledge and resources required to sustain their own income, these efforts
require your continued support.
ChildFund works with many girls and
women in developing countries, providing them with opportunities for health
care and education so they can become healthy, independent adults. You can
help in our efforts by choosing a gift from our Gifts of Love &
Hope catalog. We have many options
for aiding girls and women, and your gift could make a difference in the
lives of children in need and their families.