Worldwide, May 28th is celebrated as the International day of action for women’s health, to call attention of the public on pertinent sexual and reproductive health issues and rights of women.
The BS-Social Science of Health students of NUMS Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, for one of their courses titled Gender and Health, held discussions and prepared information material for dissemination to advocate for action on women’s health.
Ms. Taskeen Mansoor (Lecturer-Anthropology), as the course instructor, emphasized that the pandemic has exacerbated the already existing inequalities in access to healthcare services for women. Significant issues highlighted by students included infertility, breast cancer, pregnancy and menstruation.
Talking about menstruation, a student remarked how due to inadequate preparation, lack of access to menstrual hygiene products and lack of awareness around female anatomy and physiology, young girls have traumatic experiences. One of the students discussed how the vulnerabilities faced by women in conflict areas need attention as these women are more prone to diverse forms of gender based violence which influence their health related outcomes.
The students acknowledged the need to understand women’s health related issues from a holistic perspective, integrating the socio-cultural practices along with medical knowledge, to provide contextual health care services.