Gender equality: Call for action from the World Health Organisation (WHO)

On the 2018 International Women’s Day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called for “a world where every woman and girl has access to quality and affordable health services”.

In his statement, he acknowledged that “Gender equality must be at the core of ‘Health for All

The WHO theme of 2018 International Women’s Day (IWD) was “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”.

Each year the IWD is celebrated to highlight the social, cultural, political and economic achievements of women across the world.

It is indeed sad to see that gender inequality still exists in this world. Therefore without a doubt, more work needs to be done in this area and everyone has a role to play.

With regards to the issue of health and wellbeing in pregnancy, every mother should be provided with adequate information, support and care as this could have an impact on the generations to come.

No mother (or family) should feel ‘the loss of power’ in the decision-making process in the hands of healthcare providers and be a victim of unsafe practices.

Everyone should have access to trained, experienced and sensitive healthcare professionals who would listen to their concerns with empathy and respect.

Every mother (and family) should also have the access to the right support when sadly she has to go through the traumatic experience of a pregnancy loss, such as a miscarriage or stillbirth or a neonatal death.

Every single mother should have access to life-saving care when she is experiencing a serious health condition.

In his statement, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added:

“At the World Health Organization, we’re speaking up for women and girls’ right to health. When women and girls are able to stay in school longer, plan or prevent pregnancies and access health services without discrimination, they can improve their economic opportunities, and ultimately transform their futures.

But, we also must do more than speak. We must act.

Nothing will help women and girls more than ensuring that everyone, everywhere, can benefit from quality health services when and where they need them, without fear of falling into poverty when using them.”

We still have a long way to go and it would only be possible to achieve if we all join hands together in this mission.

Yes, there would be financial challenges to get expensive medical equipment and medications and have adequate numbers of healthcare professionals. But we should never forget the priceless human values such as empathy, respect, kindness and compassion. They often can make a huge difference in the lives of the mothers and their families.

Please let us know in the comment box your thoughts on how we could achieve ‘Health For All’ mothers during the pregnancy and perinatal period globally.



Photo source and credit: Pixabay