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Wellbeing of women for a healthier society

Post by on Sunday, March 20, 2022

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Women have significant responsibilities to play in our society. In the social, political, economic, cultural, and religious arenas, their contributions are widely recognised. When they have efficient skills and abilities in these realms, then they are able to render their involvement in an effective manner. Women should also raise awareness of the factors that influence their engagement, in addition to their skills and abilities. Adequate knowledge of these aspects allows them to overcome obstacles that may develop over the course of role play. In terms of how they contribute to society's well-being, women's importance is universally recognised. Their contributions to society's well-being are made through their employment, for example, when they work as teachers in schools or higher educational institutions, they are not only earning a living for their families, but also contribute for the welfare of the society by imparting information and raising awareness.

Women who are in good health are a benefit to their families and society as well. They are still capable of caring for their families, earning a living, and contributing to their communities. Their health can be measured as an indicator of a country's progress. Poverty, corruption, conflict, and poor governance are all common afflictions that cause countries to abandon their most vulnerable inhabitants. Usually, these are women. Women's productivity suffers when they are unwell, and their children and families suffer as a result, which has an economic consequence. So, from both an economic and a human rights perspective, investing in women's health makes sense.

Statistics demonstrate that women live longer than men, but they may spend a higher proportion of their lives in poor health for a number of reasons, the majority of them are caused by poverty and gender discrimination, not by innate differences. Men and women's uneven power and control over socioeconomic issues affecting their mental health and wellness, as well as their social position, status, and treatment in society, are all influenced by gender. It also has an impact on their vulnerability and exposure to certain mental health risks. There is a substantial inverse association between social status and physical and mental health outcomes. As a result, the effect of biological susceptibility is enhanced by the social disadvantages that women face. Multiple roles and the unwavering obligation of caring for others put them under stress.

Furthermore, women's mental health is harmed by gender-specific risk factors such as gender discrimination, as well as other related concerns such as poverty, hunger, malnutrition, overwork, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. The frequency and severity of such social variables have a positive link with the frequency and severity of mental health disorders in women. Severe life experiences that lead to feelings of loss, inferiority, humiliation, or entrapment can also foreshadow depression.

The most frequent mental health illness among women is depression, which contributes significantly to the worldwide disease burden. Rather than being an artefact of help-seeking behaviour or a readiness to disclose symptoms, higher rates of depression in women reflect an actual gender difference in health. Therefore, women's access to effective mental health care is hampered by gender biases and stigmatisation when it comes to mental health issues. Poor households may spend less in their daughters than in their sons, providing them with less nourishment, health care, and education. As a result of such disadvantages early in life, girls' health and well-being suffer long- term consequences.

Adolescent childbearing, for example, which is common in cultures and civilizations that permit child marriage, poses health risks and shortens the lives of young mothers and their children. Malnourished women are more likely to give birth to low-birth-weight babies, who are more likely to die young and have poor health. In countries like China and India, where there is a cultural preference for boys, women and girls suffer an added risk to their health.

Dowry practises, a strong patriarchal family system in which women have little voice, less educational possibilities, childbirth, abortion or miscarriage, financial distress, and employment all contribute to women's plight. The mental health of a women suffers when they are subjected to all of these demands and are ill-equipped to deal with them. Failure to manage women's health, particularly their mental health, has both short and long-term social and economic consequences for communities. Women's mental health has to be treated holistically. Their requirements varied, as do their tasks and responsibilities, and their resources are limited. As a consequence, we must focus on women's mental health issues in particular and manage them correctly.

It is abundantly obvious that women's mental health is inextricably linked to social, political, and economic challenges. The mental health of a women must include both mental and physical well- being throughout their lives, and it must go beyond the narrow perspective of reproductive and maternal health, which is typically the focus of our programmes. The debate of the reasons of poor mental health in women should shift away from individual and "lifestyle" risk factors and toward an understanding of the bigger social, economic, and legal forces that influence women's lives. It is therefore, crucial to understand how the societal, economic, legal, infrastructural, and environmental elements affecting women's mental health are organised in the specific community setting. If attempts to improve women's mental health are primarily focused on reducing individual "lifestyle" risk factors, they may overlook the very reasons that cause that lifestyle to exist. Furthermore, focusing solely on individual variables while disregarding societal ones runs the danger of putting the burden of change solely on women.

Women's mental health must be promoted in order for one-half of the human resource to contribute effectively. As women fulfill a variety of responsibilities, that places a great deal of stress on them. The culture also has high expectations of women, who are constrained by sociocultural standards and duties. Therefore, it is important to implement targeted intervention measures to encourage and improve women's mental health.

Meeting the needs of women's mental health includes education, training, and interventions that focus on the social and physical environment. The Interventions at various levels, aimed at both individual women and women as a group in society, are important. These should be adopted in both basic care and legal and judicial settings.

There are a variety of reasons why women are hesitant to report assaults and abuse to the police. These include: a perception that the occurrence is a "normal" part of life; a sense of responsibility for the violent incident; intimidation by the spouse; fear of retaliation; financial dependency; continued love or affection for the relationship; incapacity to respond as a result of psychological and emotional damage resulting from recurrent abuse; and intimidation by the entire legal procedure. Individuals working in the criminal justice system have attitudes and viewpoints that are also obstacles to an effective response.

The Indian government's efforts to urge citizens to report any cases of domestic violence they may have witnessed are commendable and might go a long way toward securing women's protection. Hence, it is also essential to improve the criminal justice response to violence against women. Identification of key individuals in government departments and other relevant community organisations, as well as data collection and documentation revealing the scope of women's difficulties and the burden associated with women's mental disorders, as well as policy formulation to protect and promote women's mental health, are all extremely crucial.

The education of women and girls is a more fundamental requirement. Education gives people knowledge of their rights and resources, as well as the power to combat exploitation and injustice. Education will also improve one's prospects of achieving economic independence, which is important.

In order to promote women's mental health and protect them against violence, the World Health Organization (WHO-A Focus on Women, 1997) made the following recommendations:

• Accumulating knowledge on the frequency and aetiology of mental health disorders in women, as well as the mediating and protective factors.

• Encourage the development and implementation of health policies that address the needs and concerns of women from infancy to old age.

• Improve primary care clinicians' ability to diagnose and manage the mental health implications of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and acute and chronic stress in women.

• Creating technical recommendations for evidence-based intimate partner and sexual violence prevention, as well as increasing health-care responses to such violence.

• Improving research and research capability in order to evaluate treatments for partner violence.

• Distributing information and assisting national initiatives to enhance women's rights, as well as the prevention and response to intimate partner and sexual violence against women.

Understanding women's specific demands and expectations in respect to the various jobs they play is important. As a consequence, services must be created and provided in this manner. This will contribute to a reduction in gender gaps in mental health diagnosis, care, access, and treatment. There is an urgent need to formulate and build methods to strengthen women's social standing, eliminate gender inequities, provide economic and political power, raise knowledge of their rights, and so on.

Despite the fact that much is dependent on policymakers and planners, women must also learn to advocate for themselves. They must participate as social activists to combat the societal injustices that are causing their problems. Women's mental health can also be safeguarded and promoted through a three-pronged strategy of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.

A historical milestone is the women's anti-alcohol movement in Andhra Pradesh, when they burned liquor stores to oppose their husbands' drinking. Similar anti-prostitution, anti-sexual abuse, and anti-domestic violence groups may have had historical forerunners.

In summary, concentrated efforts at the social, political, economic, and legal levels can bring about change in the lives of Indian women and contribute to the development of their mental health. Also, a holistic strategy is essential to understand women's mental health and promote it for the benefit of the entire nation.

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