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Women’s Health Status Linked To Empowerment

“The health status of women is linked to their fundamental freedoms and empowerment,” Susan Blumenthal, public health editor at the Huffington Post and former U.S. assistant surgeon general, and Jean Guo, a health policy intern at the Center for the Study of Presidency and Congress, write in the website’s “Healthy Living” blog in a post marking International Women’s Day, which was celebrated on Thursday. “With 3.4 billion women worldwide, women’s health is a global issue today. Yet, societal and environmental factors including poverty, discrimination, and violence are undermining the advancement of women’s health,” they write.

“Education and occupational opportunities as well as access to health care are crucial components for building a healthier future for women worldwide,” they write, providing some statistics regarding disease prevalence among women and arguing that “[i]mproving women’s health is critical for humanitarian, economic, and national security reasons.” Blumenthal and Guo conclude, “While on this International Women’s Day we mark the progress that has been made with the establishment of many innovative initiatives to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide, we must continue to focus on the challenges that remain. Only by ensuring that women’s rights and women’s health are essential elements of development can there be a path forward toward global progress and a better future for all in the years ahead” (3/8).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.