Women, The Family And Health
Women, health and work
Throughout history, women have been great fighters. Although the twentieth century is considered the century of their emancipation, they have had minimal possibilities for access to fundamental positions in work. Their occupations have always been tied to jobs, such as those expected today with modern demands of industrial companies.
Upon doing an analysis of their actions, one observes that in the majority of the countries of the world women are sure of themselves and aware of the necessities. In order to obtain a better socio-economic stability they have had to look for access to jobs in industry (factories, workshops, hospitals, courts, etc.). This has required them to confront the long working days required by the company, besides having to attend to obligations at home, many times without the collaboration of the rest of the nuclear family, a factor which gets in the way of her fulfilling her working duties. This causes her to occupy positions of underemployment, or to contract out to small and medium sized companies, micro-businesses, or businesses in the informal Sector. This situation of underemployment, according to statistics, can be seen in 57% of the female workers.
Another type of working connection is that of the salaried worker at home. The women develop items at home that are part of products that later are assembled in centralized businesses. Or they produce handwork that is valued by the piece. This piece meal work enables the companies to avoid having to write a contract for work, or to pay all kinds of social security (health, pension, etc.)
In general, the conditions in which women work are precarious, lack contracts, social security, and stability. In many cases they are unaware of the social benefits, the long days of work that are twice what is legally established, and a salary that scarcely arrives at the legal minimum. This group of businesses has not been designed for women, and in the majority of cases they can be observed using improvised adaptations in order to do a better job, affecting their health in many cases. In a study carried out in the city of Santiago de Cali it was observed that of every 100 women at work the following situations were observed:
|Remaining on foot||44|
|Working without sufficient light||55|
|Excessive physical effort||29|
|Exaggerated mental concentration||47|
The situation of violence in which the country lives can not be alien to the situation of health provoked by this cause. The abusive employer exerts power over these weaker members of the community, whether the situation be inside or outside of the family circle. “Violence generates more violence”, the social decomposition that is carrying us to incalculable/unimmaginable situations has demonstrated that our first cause of mortality is by violence.
Family violence observed in the survey carried out by Pro Familia 155 in 1993 showed the relation between the distinct types of violence and the death of the woman. This study found that those who have suffered violence in their homes have more risks of becoming sick than those who have not suffered domestic violence. The women were categorized by age according to having or not having suffered insults (psychological violence), blows (physical) or sexual violence. The violated women suffered more from high blood pressure; they became more aware of problems upon doing the survey; they were believed to be in greater risk of AIDS; they have had more handicaps; and they smoked more than those who had not suffered violence.
HIV Infection, Aids and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Infection through HIV in women will continue in proportion to that which women continue to be seen as unequal in relation to men. Programs of prevention are oriented to strengthen the initiative of the woman as far as changing her behavior and maintaining safe sexual behaviors.
AIDS affects in a disproportionate manner the unprotected socioeconomic groups. In these groups almost 80% of the women who suffer from it are at a reproductive age.
A noted change of behavior is based on educational programs at all levels, both for women and for men, representing the ethnic and cultural customs of each region.
There is a higher causal relationship between major ulcerative sexually transmitted diseases than among non-ulcerative venereal diseases. Also an increase in the incidence in women who present themselves with syphilis and are HIV positive has been observed.
Other infective/contagious deseases
Among these pathogens it is important to highlight pulmonary tuberculosis, the chronic bacterial illness that has the Kock bacillus as its causal agent.
Annually in Colombia 10,000 or fewer new cases are discovered, of which 40% are feminine with the agravating factor that the majority of cases who present themselves are in the productively working age groups of 18-60 years.
Tuberculosis, in spite of good quality treatment and free medicines for the patient, in recent years has increased due to migrations, displacements, and the appearance of HIV.
Pulmonary tuberculosis when treated well is curable in 95% of the cases, but the principle problem lies in the fact that to achieve an acceptable success in the program, it is necessary to have governmental social, economic and health policies.
To finish, it is necessary to express to you that in our country with the advent of Law 100 of Social Security there have been very important achievements. But working conditions have placed it in a position of risk against some of the preventive pathologies or not, before there is more incidence in males.
The Constitution of 1991 gives equal rights in all areas to males and to females.
It is necessary that the women of today, besides preserving the already gained achievements, retain the status of Lady of the past in order to use it to obtain a broader and better education for her children, and for the conservation of a family that is united and in peace.
Last Modified: June 05, 2010