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Zika Prevention Efforts Must Take Into Account Gender, Socioeconomic Inequalities

The Conversation: The campaign to eradicate Zika has trampled over women’s rights
Pia Riggirozzi, associate professor at the University of Southampton

“…[S]hifting responsibility for [Zika] to women’s behavior isolates the disease from other socioeconomic factors that influence its transmission, such as sanitation or environmental issues. It means responses have tended to focus on the ‘immediate’ health care problem, while the gender inequality that underpins the prevailing unhealthy conditions is considered ‘beyond’ the capacity of public health interventions. … The delivery of health care programs in Latin America should be anchored in an understanding of the inequalities, discrimination, and power relations that prevent many people from accessing them. Governments should remember that they have legal and ethical obligations under international law to ensure the best possible provision of services for all” (2/9).

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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.