For a society to truly be healthy and prosperous, all members of that society must have equal rights. And yet in so many places around the world, patriarchal practices are still dominant. This results in the oppression of women in already poor and marginalized areas, and this power imbalance heavily impacts their health, education, and economic status.
Women and girls are disproportionately affected by poverty and many have little or no say in the decisions which affect their lives. They often get less food, receive less education, and are disproportionately affected by poor sanitation. Many have little or no money of their own which makes them dependent on others.
This power imbalance also means they are often subject to sexual and physical violence, impacting on both their physical and mental health, and their overall wellbeing. This once again impacts on other areas of their lives, such as their ability to make a living.
Not only do women deserve equal rights and opportunities – gender equality and women’s full enjoyment of human rights are essential to economic and social development. At Health Poverty Action USA we know that improving women’s rights is essential to achieving health for all. This is why women’s rights are at the core of so much of our work.