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DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN AND YOUNG GIRLS IN THE HEALTH SECTOR Peggy Maguire European Institute of Womens Health Health Strategy in Europes Regions.

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Presentation on theme: "DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN AND YOUNG GIRLS IN THE HEALTH SECTOR Peggy Maguire European Institute of Womens Health Health Strategy in Europes Regions."— Presentation transcript:

1 DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN AND YOUNG GIRLS IN THE HEALTH SECTOR Peggy Maguire European Institute of Womens Health Health Strategy in Europes Regions 24th of April 2008 Schwerte

2 About European Institute of Womens Health: The EIWH is working to make the improvement of health and well-being of women across the lifespan a priority for the European Union and Member States: Health NGO launched in 1996 Board of Directors European Advisory Council Extensive multi-national, multi-disciplinary network

3 Aim of Presentation Women & Society Health issues that affect women and young girls Examples of best practice Recommendations for change The original study was completed by the EIWH under contract to the European Parliament Contract Reference No. IP/C/FEMM/IC/2006/62 April 2007

4 Women and Society EU Demographic Trends-Everyday Lives Ageing Population Increase in divorce rate Average age at first birth rising Number of children falling Increase in female-headed households More female graduates from tertiary education More women in employment Part-time work more widespread amongst women Responsibility for care still falling on women

5 Health Issues for Women Lifestyle (Nutrition, Smoking, Drinking, Drug Use, Exercise) Eating Disorders (Anorexia, Bulimia, Obesity) Mental Health (Anxiety, Depression, Stress) Cancer Cardiovascular Disease Sexually Transmitted Infections

6 The Situation for Young Girls Education, employment and family life have consequences Girls mature earlier Changes in self-esteem Gender differences in behaviour Increasing health inequality becomes apparent Gender differences emerge in adolescence Girls more likely to take up smoking-weight control Among 13 year olds -obesity higher in girls Healthy lifestyle choices important

7 Girls who drink any alcoholic drink weekly (%)

8 Mental health statistics conceal differences in prevalence and disease manifestation at different stages in the life cycle between women and men Causes of higher rates of depression and mental illness in women remain unknown. Lack of information on the affects of drugs This is especially clear in the following cases: anti-depressive pharmaceutics: lower doses of anti-depressive medicines Mental Health

9 Cancer Increase in rates of lung cancer in both younger and older women in almost all EU countries. Cancer of the cervix is the second most common female cancer in the EU. Early screening and detection can improve survival rates. More gender specific health promotion messages need to be developed. The EU has recognised the potential of population-based cancer screening programmes in its Council Recommendation adopted in 2003 (Official Journal of the EU L327, ).

10 Differences between men and women: the example of cardiovascular disease CVD accounts for : 46% of deaths in women 39% of deaths in men Stroke kills more women than men Of women who survive a first heart attack: 42% die within a year following a heart attack, compared to 24% of men 46% will be disabled by heart failure within 6 years: two times the rate in men More will have a second heart attack/stroke compared to male survivors

11 Cardiovascular disease Improvements in research needed Few women in clinical trials Long-term studies on men Pharmaceutical research carried out on men When it is known that the disease in question is more frequent in women

12 Teenage Pregnancy: Best Practice in the UK The Teenage Pregnancy Strategy has set targets to: Reduce by 50%under-18 conception rate by2010 Achieve a downward trend in the under-16 conception rate Reduce the inequality in rates between those with the highest under 18 conception rate and the average rate by at least 25% Increase to 60% the participation of teenage parents in education, training or employment to reduce their risk of long-term social exclusion.

13 Cancer: Best Practice in Belgium s upport breast awareness: VIVA-SVV boezemvriendinnen: Volunteers A project in which female volunteers motivate other women, to support and encourage each other to take part in breast cancer screening.

14 The promotion of gender equity has been a long- standing theme in the philosophy and operations of the EU. The mainstreaming of gender was formalised in the Treaty of Amsterdam with the pursuit of equality between women and men. The Treaty also included a statement to the effect that human health should be protected in all Community policies and activities. EU Gender Roadmap Gender Equality in the EU

15 Since 1994, there has been a commitment to ensure that a gender equality perspective must permeate all aspects of government policy. At national level, 3 main measures have been taken to integrate a gender perspective into every policy area: All official statistics have been sex-disaggregated. Training programmes in gender equality have been held for ministers, press secretaries, political advisers and senior civil servants. All Government commissions of inquiry have been instructed to include a gender impact dimension in their investigations. Gender Mainstreaming: Best Practice in Sweden

16 Recommendations Ensure that a gender sensitive approach in the training of healthcare professionals Ensure that service planning takes account of the cultural and ideological differences that limit womens access to, and utilisation of, services. Encourage new Member States to make greater use of structural funds for investing in health, such as supporting implementation of the Council Recommendation on Cancer Screening Increase in EU Public Health budget needed

17 Health Promotion Addressing health inequalities through health promotion, disease prevention and multi-sectoral actions should be at the heart of public health policy both at national and European Union levels. Consistent, coherent, simple and clear messages need to be developed, and disseminated through multiple channels and in forms appropriate to local culture, age and gender Target information and education campaigns about health and lifestyle choices at young girls of school age in all EU member states.

18 In June 2006 the Council adopted a Conclusion on Womens Health. It was noted that: Reliable, compatible, comparable data on the status of womens health is essential. Gender-specific data and reporting are essential for public health policy making. The 7th EU Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP 7) should incorporate research programmes that: Examine possible sex differences and effects of gender in the development of research protocols Build a knowledge base of gender-based indicators for use in all areas of EU policies affecting health. Research

19 Recommendation Member States must consider modifying their national data collection practices in the interests of sharing information, future planning, and learning from others Member States must sign up to standardised systems of data collection. Without the proper data we cannot have effective & targeted public health programmes

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