In Recognition Of International Women’s Day, Opinion Pieces Discuss Importance Of Investing In Women’s Health

Nigeria’s Guardian: To be bold for change
Mabingue Ngom, director for West and Central Africa Region at the United Nations Population Fund

“…The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, Be Bold for Change, echoes the need for bold action to accelerate gender parity, eliminate maternal mortality, and invest in young people especially young women and girls. Taking bold action requires setting the right priorities, ensuring equitable distribution, and avoiding the costly mistakes of the past. Therefore, the most important question is ‘where do we put our money, time, and resources to get the maximum return?’ … Two … smart investments are (a) investing in young people and (b) investing in maternal health. … The costs of not taking action now on these critical developmental issues means that poverty eradication efforts will be undermined, economic growth slowed, inequalities sustained, and countries will miss out on a vast source of human capital needed to take sustainable development forward in the 21st century. … [T]he role of the community and individual champions cannot be underestimated. In particular, we need high profile public advocates for maternal health and the rights of young people to reach their full potential in Africa” (3/8).

Huffington Post: A Day for Women’s Health
Robyn Norton, co-founder of the George Institute for Global Health

“…[A]s countries around the world continue to develop, and as the number of people living in extreme poverty (living on less that USD $1.90 per day) continues to decrease, we’re seeing a rise in the significance of [noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)], which persist as a killer of both men and women. … If we as the global health community are forward-thinking, and we stay a step ahead, we can ensure that health threats that have commonly affected men don’t begin to affect women as well. It’s worth noting that all of this is of course predicated on an essential research practice at all levels of global health: disaggregation by sex and gender of health data collection and analysis. … When our approach to research and health systems development is truly gendered, then we can save millions of women dying prematurely. On this International Women’s Day, as we celebrate the decades of progress that we’ve made, let’s renew our commitment to continue the important, urgent work of improving the lives of all women” (3/7).

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