4 Women’s Health Is a Community Issue
➤ Men and women
get many of the same
diseases, but women
can be affected
alcohol and other
➤ A woman faces
health risks from
her work inside and
outside of the home.
Working long hours,
the ‘double work day’,
can make her body
too tired to fight
➤ Problems with
mental health can be
as serious as other
General medical problems
Women are more likely than men to suffer from certain health
problems because of the work they do, because of poor
nutrition, or from being too tired. A disease can also cause a
different kind of harm to a woman than a man. For example, a
woman who suffers from a disease which weakens her or makes
her look ugly may be rejected by her husband.
Once they are sick, women are less likely to seek and receive
treatment until they are seriously ill. For example, tuberculosis (TB)
is spreading among both men and women, but fewer women
than men get treatment. Almost 3000 women die every day from
TB—at least 1/3 of whom did not receive proper treatment or
never even knew they had the disease. Other health problems
that in the past affected mostly men are now risks for women,
too. For example, more women are suffering from problems
related to smoking cigarettes or drinking too much alcohol.
Women face health risks every day from their work. At
home, lung diseases from smoke or burns from cooking fires
are so common that they are considered the main work-related
health problem for women. Diseases spread through water
are also common,
because of the
amount of time
hauling water, or
standing in water
Millions of women
who work outside the
home suffer health problems
due to unsafe conditions in the workplace.
And when they come home from their jobs, they usually continue
to work at home, so they end up with twice as much work. This
leads to exhaustion and an increased risk of illness.
Mental health problems
Women and men have about the same risk of developing
a mental health problem. Severe depression, however,
affects many more women than men. It often affects women
who are poor, who have experienced loss or violence, or whose
communities have been destroyed or undergone great change.
But women who suffer any kind of mental health problem are
much less likely than men to get help.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012