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Natural Awakenings Richmond

Challenges in Women’s Health

Apr 28, 2022 10:12PM ● By Tanisha Banerjee

Over the centuries, history has witnessed the difficult life of many women and girls. They constantly face challenges and inherent dangers imposed by society and also have specific health needs that are not addressed by health systems around the world. 

A study published in Academic Emergency Medicine found women that went to the emergency room with severe stomach pain had to wait almost 33 percent longer than men with the same symptoms, pointing out the gender bias. 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar that a man earns, and the pay gap is even worse for Black and Latina women. Despite the rise of the MeToo movement, sexual harassment and assault are still prevalent. Another challenge for middle-aged American women is fullfilling the role of a caregiver. Of the estimated 15 percent of Americans that are informal caregivers, 72 percent are women, and many are torn between caring for an ailing relative and caring for their own children. 

To improve women’s health, society must take into account all the underlying determinants, particularly gender inequality, and address the specific socioeconomic and cultural barriers that hamper women in protecting and improving their health. 

Tanisha Banerjee is a pre-veterinary undergraduate student at Virginia Tech. Her interests include animal, human and the planet’s well-being.