Every year, International Women’s Day is commemorated on March 8. Since 1975, this day on which the United Nations celebrated this important date for the first time, we have been fulfilling milestones and achievements. But we must also be aware of everything that still has to be achieved. It is time to make a balance about how the rights of women around the world are fulfilled, especially the right to health. Twenty years after countries signed commitments in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, women are still facing many health problems. Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health through the Life Course of the World Health Organization, mentions some of them:
– Cancer: early detection of breast and cervical cancer is vital.
– Reproductive health: sexual and reproductive health problems are responsible for one third of health problems for women between the ages of 15 and 44 years.
– Maternal health: in developing countries almost half a million women die each year from complications in pregnancy and childbirth.
– HIV: three decades after the AIDS epidemic, young women are the most affected by new infections.
– Sexually transmitted infections: it is important to prevent and treat diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis.
– Violence against women: one in three women under 50 has suffered physical and / or sexual violence.
– Mental health: women are more likely to experience anxiety and depression.
– Noncommunicable diseases: women from low and middle income countries are more likely to die as a result of traffic accidents, harmful use of tobacco, abuse of alcohol, drugs and substances, and obesity.
– Being young: around 13 million adolescent girls (under 20 years old) give birth each year.
– Aging: having often worked at home, older women may have fewer pensions and benefits, less access to medical care and social services than their male counterparts.
WHO, in collaboration with the United Nations, develops action plans to ensure that the future brings health to all women and girls, no matter who they are, where they live or what resources they have.