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Semantee Chattopadhyay
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When you think about the issues that impact humans today, a problem that might easily come to mind is the gender wage gap for the difference in pay between working men and women. However, another gender gap affects the health and well-being of women and girls around the world. Despite rapid advances in the field of medicine over the last century and physiology of human have been and continue to be overlooked within the health care system. Women have been excluded from scientific research and underserved in fields such as cardiac and mental health. This is gender healthcare and is a huge obstacle for all women especially those in marginalised communities.
The first iniquity is the gender gap in health care research. The exclusion of women in research has been a major historical contributor to the health gap. It wasn’t until 1993 that women were required to be included in most healthcare research studies. Studies that include payment before this time were overwhelmingly related to reproductive science. This shows the scientific community’s failure to recognise that the spectrum of a woman’s health extends much more than her ability to have children. Women are more likely to experience adverse reactions to some medicine. This is because medicines are generally tested on men.
The different care and outcomes experienced by women it comes to chronic health conditions are huge. On average women live longer than men but with a lesser quality of life. Women are more likely to suffer from multiple chronic conditions throughout their lives. By age 80, the number of men experiencing two or more chronic conditions is twice as high as men of the same age. Chronic pain is also more common in women than men. However, it is not treated as aggressively as pain in men. Doctors generally considered pain in women answer a psychological issue and this affects the care women receive. Cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death among women and it kills more women than men each year. Despite this women makeup only 35% of those studied in cardiovascular research. Many drugs that affect the cardiovascular system have only ever been tested on men.