Among the top health risks for women are reproductive health, gender-based violence, and maternal health according to the World Health Organization. Sadly, with the right resources and care each one of these causes of death is preventable.
While women live an average of four year longer than men, they face greater poverty in old-age, and carry the burdens of unsafe pregnancies at young ages. These are just some of the reasons it’s essential that women’s health matters not just to women, but to men too.
There cannot be a divide in caring about this issue. Women’s rights are human rights, and women’s health determines the health of humans as a whole society.
The Trump administration’s new plan for the Global Gag Rule left a massive funding gap in women’s access to health, that thankfully other countries are stepping up to fill. Still, awareness is needed to put an end to the policy.
And there are many to send a message back to world leaders that women’s rights, women’s health matter.
Here are 15 ways to support women’s healthcare.
Learn About Women’s Health Issues
First, it’s important to understand the different health risks that are more likely to affect a woman: reproductive and maternal risks.
Currently, “women suffer all of the burden from lack of contraception, 80% of the deaths caused by iron deficiency, and about two thirds of the burden caused by child sexual abuse,” according to WHO.
This is why access to family planning, and a women’s right to safe contraception is vital to women’s health and safety. And both men and women must care about these issues.
Learn about the myths and misconceptions that surround women’s reproductive health.
Learn About the Global Gag Rule
There are a lot of misconceptions about women’s healthcare, especially concerning the Global Gag Rule. It’s reach is vast, and it has the ability to cut millions in funding for women’s health across the women. It also puts some of the most vulnerable girls and women’s lives in danger. Here is everything you need to know about the Global Gag Rule.
For a longer read on the potential effects of the Global Gag Rule read this interview with PAI Director Suzanne Ehlers. Or this compelling story of a doctor, who after blaming himself for killing a promising young medical student in Ghana, turned to advocate for access to abortion.
Fortunately, there are campaigns to combat this destructive policy.
Learn About the She Decides Campaign
On March 2, countries met in Brussels discussing how to fill the gaping funding hole that the Global Gag Rule left for women’s health in the world. Countries, like Canada, stepped up. Canada committed an astounding $20 million to the She Decides campaign, then they gave $650 million days later on March 6. This is huge, but as long as the Global Gag Rule is in place, smaller organizations and clinics in developing countries will still face tough choices they should not have to in order to accept US funding for programs.
To learn more about the She Decides campaign go here.
Donate or Volunteer for Organizations That Support Women’s Health
Here's four fighting the Global Gag Rule to get you started.
Call Your Congresspeople
Not sure how? Read this. Then call and tell your Senator, and local representative that you oppose the Global Gag Rule. Let them know they can instead support the HER Act to repeal the Global Gag Rule.
Treat Yo Self With Products That Give Back to Women
It may not be Valentine’s Day anymore, but these 23 companies support women year-round. Plus, this tee comes from My Sister, to support programs for after-care for sex trafficking victims, and choose from others that contribute a percentage to Planned Parenthood.
Finally, TAKE ACTION:
Educated girls are more likely to care for themselves, have lower infant mortality, and live longer healthier lives. It’s the start to ensuring a future full of empowered, healthy, and strong women.
And while you’re out and about advocating for women’s right to access healthcare don’t forget to care for your own body, share information on women’s health, and educate others about the health concerns for women globally.