Women’s Health is at Risk, Worst in 2021 according to Global Survey

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Women around the world have been found to suffer from health issues years following the pandemic, but the risks are higher during the second year than in the first one.

Hologic, a medical technology company, partnered with Gallup to spearhead a global survey assessing women’s health needs and how countries oversee them. The survey was split into five variables: general health, mental health, safety, preventive care, and basic needs.

The 2020 survey garnered a score of 54 out of 100. However, a year after, the score slightly dropped to 53 out of 100. In addition, the Global Women’s Health Index has been relatively lower across all countries worldwide, with all of the surveyed nations scoring not higher than 70 points in 2021.

Four countries scored the highest. These include Taiwan, Latvia, Austria, and Denmark. Meanwhile, three scored the lowest: Venezuela, Congo, and Afghanistan. The United States ranked 23rd, scoring 61 out of 100.

“The economic and psychological burden of the pandemic will weigh down many households for a while, and we know that it particularly affected women,” said Gertraud Stadler, the director of the Institute of Gender in Medicine in Berlin.

With the data gathered by Gallup and Hologic, it was discovered that in the past decade, it was in 2021 that women became more sad, angry, worried, and stressed.

“We understand you can only impact and improve what you measure. Overall, the data is sobering. And we understand that we need women to be healthy to fully engage and be empowered. It’s clear that the time has come to work together and begin to find solutions and improve women’s health care,” said Dr. Susan Harvey from the John Hopkins School of Medicine.

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Women are not being taken care of enough

The five key areas measured by Gallup and Hologic would help show what areas need to be improved on. These could also affect how women expect their lives to last. For instance, the average life expectancy of women who had access to medical services was two years higher than those who didn’t.

The US scored better in 2021 than in 2020 in terms of preventive care. Overall, the country is second highest next to Latvia. Dr. Harvey said that while it is a small improvement, the country should be happy about it.

“Overall, though, the world is failing women in preventive care,” she added.

In 2021, over 1.5 billion women could not access preventive care. And survey reveals that cancer is frequently detected among women.

“This goes back to a lot of those different burdens that women are taking on, both from the perspective of being a caregiver but also being a part of their community,” explained Katie Schubert, CEO of the Society for Women’s Health Research.

“In the US, for example, Schubert says, women are more likely to go to a well visit for their child than they are for themselves. And the share of women who don’t show up for a key doctor’s visit at six weeks postpartum is “pretty striking.”

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When we lift women, we lift society

Scientists concur that women need to be taken care of so that society can achieve its best potential.

“Women often have the role of health manager in their families and communities. And they are taking on a large share of care work, so children, partners, parents benefit as well from women’s health,” said Stadler.

“Without this foundational health and well-being of women, we won’t be able to advance any of the goals related to economic stability or equity in socio-economic development. That really all stands on the shoulders of a healthy environment, a healthy person and healthy outcomes.”

“It is critical that we rally now to invest in women and girls to reclaim and accelerate progress. The data show undeniable regressions in their lives made worse by the global crises – in incomes, safety, education, and health. The longer we take to reverse this trend, the more it will cost us all,” said Sima Bahous, the executive director of UN Women.

Source: CNN


Opinions expressed by US Reporter contributors are their own.

Chris Watson

Chris is a freelance writer, photographer and travel enthusiast.