We all know how gender inequality degrades the life quality of women but did we ever wonder how it is enabling death in modern society? The new Lancet Global Health report said 60% of the cancer deaths in women could have been prevented but were not due to gender disparity.
Women Fight Against Cancer and Inequality
Gender Inequality: Women and Cancer
When referring to cancer in women, why is the focus turned to breast and cervical cancer when the leading cause of death is lung cancer in women? In this society of inequality, rules define every woman’s life and not following even one of them results in ‘them getting what they deserve’.
While we know that breast cancer is quite common in women, we will find that only a small percentage of society is aware of the disease and ways to prevent it or get regularly needed check-ups. When the adult society is not educated on cancer and further steps to take for prevention and treatment, how do we expect our younger generation to be ready?
Dr Abhishek Shankar, associate professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Patna says that the data projection shows the incidence of cancer increasing in future. Among them, cancer cases in women are going to be higher than in men.
Women and Shame
We often hear the term ‘girls’ problem’ or ‘women’s trouble’ associated with many diseases women are suffering from, even life-threatening ones. This shunning terminology causes unawareness, avoidance and fright in the general public.
People are embarrassed to go to the doctor. They try to hide and suffer in silence. When they go to the doctor, they can’t freely talk about their suffering because they weren’t taught how to. The shame associated forces them to consult ineffective, small and suspicious clinics with quacks as their doctor.
When was the last time you talked without hesitation about your periods, something that is a normal event in a woman’s life? Are you aware of pelvic routine exams, not because there was a series on this but because it is a necessary routine check-up for your reproductive health?
Women and rights
Data shows women have a longer wait time to receive their cancer test results. They seek the doctor at a later stage, receive prejudice regularly and get tested late. These are a few of the reasons why the preventable death percentage is higher than 60 in women under 70 years of age.
There should be awareness around the use of tobacco, alcohol, infections and obesity. We should know about their damming effects on our bodies. The artificial implant products target mainly women. The advertisement of contraceptive methods, breast and hip implants, skin lighting agents and many more products are more centred towards women. The standard of beauty in women is highly defined and very restricting.
With so much going around, women’s rights education is important. They should care more for their health rather than choosing to do what feels right to society. Women’s leadership in the healthcare system, management and policymaking sector and research and education is a pressing priority.
Only when the women of your family start feeling confident in their mind, body and education, this generation be truly ready to prosper. No society can rise while suppressing women’s rights and making them suffer. Women should have equality in choice, education, salary and independence. How can you build a free and happy generation when half of the population is suffering unfairly?