How Women’s Health Affects the World

Just as the health of our body and mind begins in our gut, we believe that the health of our collective, global humanity starts with the well-being and empowerment of women and girls all over the world.

In our mission to stop the global oppression of women and to challenge the ignorance and disinterest that pervades our society when it comes to how women are treated, valued, and respected, we are banding together with creative leaders everywhere to push for health, human rights, and equality for girls and women around the world.

By spreading the word and shedding light on the real, disheartening conditions that women in the U.S. and around the globe face each and everyday, we’re working together to ensure that women and girls everywhere live in dignity and safety, with access to life-altering education, jobs, and healthcare that can promote lasting change on a global scale.

Why Do We Need Change?

Research proves that empowering women and girls benefits economies and societies as a whole, and it’s no wonder—the health and wellness of girls, women, and mothers is key to a sustainable and successful world.

Here’s just one example of how the cycle of education and economic empowerment can benefit generations to come:

It may sound like an easy solution, but we have to remember to take into account all the barriers that we must break down before we as a society can truly provide girls and women with the tools they need to succeed and thrive. Here are the six issues we see as roadblocks to equality and human rights for women:

1. Education. More than 130 million girls around the world are missing out on the opportunity to better their lives by attending school. Factors such as discrimination, gender violence, early marriage, and civil conflict can prevent the education that girls so desperately need and deserve.1

2. Safety and Equality. One in three women will experience sexual or physical violence in her lifetime, 10 million girls under age 18 (many of them much younger) are married worldwide each year, and sex trafficking of women and children is the fasting growing global criminal enterprise.2

3. Women’s Health and Family Planning. Access to family planning resources and the ability to both delay and space childbearing is crucial for women’s long-term health, education, and workforce participation. But, the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy leaves 225 million women all over the world without access to basic family planning and other reproductive healthcare services.3

4. Maternal Health and Childbirth. When only half of pregnant women receive the recommended amount of prenatal care and 830 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, you know there’s a serious problem, and it’s not just in developing countries—the U.S. ranks 60th worldwide in maternal health.4,5

5. Breastfeeding and Parental Support. Breastfeeding exclusively for six months gives babies the ingredients they need for long-term health and proper immune system development, but less than 43% of infants up to six months of age receive just breast milk. With inadequate family leave policies—only 13% of U.S. workers have paid family leave access—unequal pay, and lack of support in the workplace, women are forced to choose formula and the health repercussions of not breastfeeding (for both baby and mom).6,7

6. Economic Empowerment. Despite doing more than 60% of the world’s work, women are earning less than 10% of the world’s wages. And even though 40% of households in the U.S. include a mother who is the sole or primary wage earner, women earn less than $0.80 for every $1.00 a man earns for the same work.8

After looking at the facts, we hope you agree that it’s time for change!

Join us in changing the lives of women throughout the world.

We established Change for Women, a collective of creative partners and brands, to celebrate and empower women and to address the important challenges that women and girls face around the world.

Only when we join forces, unite our voices, and work together to combat the injustices and discrimination that are rampant in all aspects of society will we be able to truly make a difference in the lives of women everywhere.

Want to learn more? Visit www.changeforwomen.org to learn about our mission and discover how you can join us in changing the world!

References:

1. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2016). Leaving no one behind: How far on the way to universal primary and secondary education? (Policy paper 27, Fact sheet 37). Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002452/245238E.pdf

2. Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization. (2013). Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. Retrieved from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/85239/1/9789241564625_eng.pdf?ua=1

3. Guttmacher Institute. (2014). Adding It Up: The costs and Benefits of Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Health. Retrieved from https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/AddingItUp2014.html

4. UNICEF. (2015). Only half of women worldwide receive the recommended amount of care during pregnancy. Retrieved from http://data.unicef.org/topic/maternal-health/antenatal-care/#

5. You, D., Hug, L., Ejdemyr, S., Idele, P., Hogan, D., Mathers, C., . . . Alkema, L. (2015). Global, regional, and national levels and trends in under-5 mortality between 1990 and 2015, with scenario-based projections to 2030: a systematic analysis by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation. The Lancet,386(10010), 2275-2286. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(15)00120-8

6. Victora, C. G., Bahl, R., Barros, A. J., França, G. V., Horton, S., Krasevec, J., . . . Rollins, N. C. (2016). Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. The Lancet,387(10017), 475-490. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(15)01024-7

7. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2014). Employee Benefits in the United States National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2014 (Tables 16 and 32). Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/benefits/2014/ebbl0055.pdf

8. UNICEF. (2011). International Women’s Day: The way forward—True gender equality. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org.tr/basinmerkezidetay.aspx?id=2180&dil=en&d=1

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Emily Courtney is a Writer and Editor at Hyperbiotics and mom to two fun and active boys. Emily is passionate about natural wellness and helping others learn about the power of probiotics for vibrant health! For more ideas on how you can benefit from the power of probiotics and live healthier days, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

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