- Essentially all (99%) of the half a million maternal deaths every year occur in developing countries.
- Breast cancer is the leading cancer killer among women aged 20–59 years in high-income countries.
- Globally, cardiovascular disease, often thought to be a “male” problem, is the leading killer of women.
- Tobacco use is a growing threat among young women,
- Mortality rates during pregnancy and childbirth remain high in developing countries.
Source: WHO, 2009
Despite considerable progress in the past decades, societies continue to fail to meet the health care needs of women at key moments of their lives, particularly in their adolescent years and in older age. Given this, there is an urgent action both within the health sector and beyond to improve the health and lives of girls and women, from birth to older age.
The distinct roles and behaviors of men and women in a given culture, dictated by that culture’s gender norms and values, give rise to gender differences. Gender norms and values, however, also give rise to gender inequalities - that is, differences between men and women which systematically empower one group to the detriment of the other. The fact that, throughout the world, women on average have lower cash incomes than men is an example of a gender inequality.
Both gender differences and gender inequalities can give rise to inequities between men and women in health status and access to health care. ..read more