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Women’s Health Matters Need More Focus And Commitment

Here is what we can do to protect, encourage and promote women health matters.

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We have all understood how the virus sees no difference between gender, race, caste or community. However, the pandemic and its subsequent lockdown has had different implications for men and women. While men suffered heavily owing to the mortality rate, women were affected by the economic and social fallout. Women who serve on the frontline against COVID‑19, experienced a stark impact though.

FIGHTING THE WAR AGAINST COVID MORE EQUALLY: While most women displayed more resilience in managing working hours in light of rising demands at home - supervising children’s remote learning, cleaning or preparing family meals, caring for the elderly etc., their role as shock absorbers sustained families and communities. However, all this strength of character that women often hold, has a lasting negative implication on their health and over all wellbeing.

Statistic of violence against women during this pandemic paint a grim picture. It was a perfect storm for those who were caught in the combination of economic devastation and lockdowns, while literally being trapped at home. A global Deloitte report on ‘understanding the impact of the pandemic on working women’ showed that out of 400 women from across nine countries who were interviewed, around 82% felt a negative disruption of their lives, and 70% women experienced these disruptions in the career & feel that this might limit their growth. 

This is evident in the healthcare sector too. As healthcare leaders, primary caregivers, nurses, doctors, rural health workers, etc., women have been playing a significant role during this pandemic. However, women in this profession have felt heightened stress and disruption and are worried about career growth. 

Therefore, there is need for more holistic approach from the government, healthcare providers and society to take positive actions to address women’s issues from both health & wellbeing point of view. Here is what we can do to protect, encourage and promote women health matters.

  • Families need to step up and share household responsibilities
  • Encourage women to indulge in self-care; get them to go do their regular health check-up, help them to get expert advice on ways to balance work and life
  • Look after their mental health needs
  • Family should look after their diet, nutrition and sleep patterns
  • Employers should provide flexible and hybrid working models for women
  • Provide them with financial assistance if they need it
  • Women working as frontline workers for COVID need more care, so family, neighbors and employers should support them 

If we talk about one good thing the pandemic did, was that it brought the much-required focus on mental health, increased need for telemedicine, and preventive care. It also created a unique opportunity for government, communities, industry, and healthcare providers to invest more in innovative approaches to offer specialized services to all. While we acknowledge the contributions of women in fighting this pandemic, we must also ensure that we empower women with more knowledge and education. Build their capabilities in every way, end critical gender inequalities, improve health outcomes and lead us to make India a women-prioritised nation.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
Women’s Health COVID-19 Mental Health Mortality Rate

Dr. S. Narayani

Zonal Director, Fortis Hospitals Mumbai

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