By Isabella Bwiire
As we commemorate the 16days of activism against Gender based violence (GBV) priority should be on the right to health especially for the women. Women have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
This right is vital to their life and well-being, their ability to participate in all areas of public and private life. Women’s health involves their emotional, social and physical well-being and determined by the social, political and economic context of their lives.
A major barrier for women to the achievement of highest attainable standards of health is inequality both between men and Women in different geographical regions, social classes, indigenous and ethnic groups. In national and international forums women have emphasised that to attain optimal health throughout the life cycle, equality, including sharing of family responsibilities; development and peace are necessary conditions.
Women have different and unequal access to and use of basic health resources, including primary health services for the prevention and treatment of childhood diseases, malnutrition, anemia, diarrhea diseases, communicable diseases, Malaria, etc. And women have different and unequal opportunities for the protection, promotion and maintenance of their health, a case in point is the lack of emergency obstetric services which is lacking in many local health facilities.
Health policies and programme often perpetuate gender stereotypes and fail to consider socio-economic disparities and other differences among women and may not fully take account of the lack of autonomy of women regarding their health. Women’s health is also affected by gender bias in the health system and the provision of inadequate and inappropriate medical services to women. The rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibility on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual reproductive health, free from coercion, discrimination and violence. To the contrary, today women are subject to particular health risks due to inadequate responsiveness and lack of services to meet health-related needs including sexuality and reproduction.
Complications related to pregnancies and childbirth is among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity of women. Unsafe abortions threaten the lives of a large number of women.
A number of indisputable proof of women’s action is visible, ranging from their social political and economic engagement, therefore progress has been done in the struggle for their right, however, we still say, much is still deserved in the health sector.
Ms Bwiire works with Foundation for Human Rights Initiative.
Story published by the Daily Monitor