Paper : Gender, Races and MDG towards Health Equity

Published by admin on Mon, 04/18/2011 - 00:52 in

Health equity between gender and races
Erna Surjadi
Key words:
gender inequality, health equity, social determinants of health, health and human rights, women’s rights, gender harmony
Life is a gift; because no body asked to be born. However when it becomes one gift that to be maintained; it leads to human rights with principles that everybody born free with dignity. To be alive is close related to health. Health is not merely conditions of free from diseases and physical well being; but also to mental wellbeing and social determinants of health. The social determinants of health are led to health inequities - the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries. Intrinsic factors within people such as: age, gender, ethnics, demography and economic may create inequalities that led to health inequity. There are health inequities among countries, between gender and within people. Thus, the health inequity may be born within countries due to social determinants of health, including gender aspect. The gender inequalities that create different access, opportunity, benefit and control between men and women may lead to gender inequity in all living aspects, including health.
Women’s rights to health is to ensure women have the same opportunity, access, benefit and control in comparison to men to get the highest attainable standard of health . The gender disparities are crosscutting among factors of men and women which limit their access, opportunity, benefit and control to get their rights to health. Thus, addressing the gender disparities towards equality will increase the opportunity to the rights to health.
Several latest situations are noted: more women are infected to HIV/AIDs while they are housewives; stigma and young people living with HIV/AIDs, maternal health and mortality are still problems especially in Africa and South East Asia Region, female genital mutilation traditional practices, teenage/adolescent pregnancy, gender-based violence even to women in pregnancy, malnutrition and anemia for the poor; trafficking in persons that lead to rapes and prostitution, torture to female migrant workers; and so on. The position of women after marriage compared to men, especially in Asia and Pacific is inequality; violence against women, household over burdens, patriarchy culture and financial crisis make women loosing bargaining power to men.
The broad aspects of gender disparities not only give disadvantages to women but also to children, elderly and the whole family. Wives who received abuse from the husbands carried forward bad impact to worse the children growth and health. Gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Millennium Development Goals No. 3 is the biggest challenge to contribute further achievement of other goals in MDG, including to supporting the health equity. The gender harmony needs to be created between men and women that includes economic sharing (money), resources mobilization and distribution, synergy and partnership; particularly within family towards health equity, advancement, independence and welfare. Further plan of actions is encouraged to support gender, races, MDG towards health equity.