The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016 provides insight into the current state of women’s health equity in 144 countries around the globe. There is reason to be optimistic: the gap in health outcomes between women and men is the smallest of the four key areas examined in the report. However, there is also cause for concern. The gap in health outcomes today is larger than it was a decade ago.
The World Economic Forum describes the disparity in health outcomes between women and men as being among “the most challenging gender gaps” to address on a global scale. It is also the most critical. Health equity is necessary in order to achieve gender parity in education and economic and political participation. Without access to quality care, the burden of disease may prevent girls from attending school and bar women from civic and workforce participation.
Women and girls account for more than half of the world’s population, and, when half of the population is unable to achieve to its fullest potential, we all lose. Improving the quality and accessibility of women’s health care is an essential step in achieving gender equality.
International Women’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on how HVO will continue and expand upon its efforts to improve women’s health around the globe. This year, organizers are asking individuals and organizations to consider how they will #BeBoldForChange in the coming year.
HVO will #BeBoldForChange in 2017 and beyond by pursuing novel partnerships and opportunities for international collaboration. HVO is proud to partner with the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to improve the quality and availability of care for women through the education and training of the women’s health workforce in resource-scarce countries.
The upcoming SGO 2017 Annual Meeting is an opportunity for health care professionals to come together and work collaboratively to improve the quality of women’s cancer care. This same spirit of collaboration is seen at HVO project sites around the world. The power of providers working together is critical to the success of HVO’s oncology and OBGYN programs. By working collaboratively with their colleagues in resource-scarce countries, our OBGYN and gynecologic oncology volunteers are able to create lasting change – improving the quality and availability of care for women globally.
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