Current Political Issues: Health Contentions to Women Empowerment in the Country

PS 27 (H2E, 5:30- 5:30)

Submitted by: KRISTINE JOY G. DAGOHOY

Submitted to: DR. ALAND MIZELL

January 13, 2012

Those of us who have the opportunity to be here have the responsibility to speak for those who could not speak. Yet much of the work we do is not valued . cleaning houses.INTRODUCTION Women comprise more than half the world's population. cooking meals. 4Women are 70% percent of the world's poor. not by popular culture. (iii) increasing the resources available for health . and running countries. raising children. not by government leader women around the world are giving birth. and indigenous peoples focusing on the poor alleviating the excess burden of disease borne by the poor can be accomplished in a number of ways. Understanding these connections—including the economic and social context in which they occur— and addressing PHE issues in an integrated manner is critical for achieving sustainable development. and two-thirds of those who are not taught to read and write. including (i) increasing physical access to services. and they are being barred from the bank lending office and banned from the ballot box. working on assembly lines. they are being denied the right to go to school by their own fathers and brothers. not by historians. where natural resources and public health and well-being are often negatively affected by factors such as population pressures and poverty. Women are the primary caretakers for most of the world's children and elderly. (ii) focusing on the control of health problems that disproportionately affect the poor. they are watching their children succumb to malnutrition caused by poverty and economic deprivation. 2The health of the poor. washing clothes.not by economists. health. women. running companies. Women also are dying from diseases that should have been prevented or treated. they are being forced into prostitution.1 Linking population. and environment (PHE) issues is becoming increasingly important for the Philippines. planting crops.

assess cost-effectiveness. but has rarely been tried. To meet the challenges of improving women’s health. Physical access can be improved by reducing the time women must travel to obtain services. the Bank led a consortium of agencies in the Women’s Health and Safe Motherhood Project. protein. First.facilities frequented by the poor. iron. (iv) intensive efforts to control reproductive tract infections. (iii) supplementation with vitamin A.) Cultural access to services can be improved by increasing privacy in health facilities. DMC governments can improve women’s access to these health services in a number of ways. and specifically . BODY There are a number of specific actions that DMC governments can undertake in the health sector to improve women’s health. Second. (ii) tetanus toxoid immunization. (v) systematic treatment of TB (more women of reproductive age die each year of TB than of maternal causes). folate. and (vi) good quality maternal health services. and evaluate services. recruiting and deploying more female health workers. either through improved outreach services or establishment of additional health centers and health posts. (This would be easy to implement. Financial access can be improved by waiving or reducing user charges for women. iodine. A high maternal mortality rate and low contraceptive prevalence are indicative of the poor health status of women in the Philippines and the need to improve the care provided to them by the public health care system. they can ensure women have access to a package of basic services that include 3(i) family planning with a wide selection of contraceptive methods. and where appropriate. (iv) measuring the performance of health care systems in providing services to the poor. analyze important policy issues. and (v) employing more participatory approaches. Policy and operations research is being supported by expanding the Governments ability to address key service delivery questions.

The Coalition Government is determined to prevent violence against women and children happening or recurring. the World Health Organization issued a statement that Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has become the leading cause of death for women ages 15-44 around the world. In addition. DMC governments can ensure that the health care system. Reproductive Health Bill. Abuse may be current or it may have happened many years ago. This means that. so that gender disparities can be identified and addressed. female genital mutilation (FGM). Republic Act No. to protect and support its victims.targeting greater health education efforts at women. Last November. Indonesia and Malaysia have begun counseling adolescent women about family planning and other aspects of reproductive health. AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. 5For example. child sexual abuse. Third. and to bring offenders to justice. Violence against women and children can take many forms including: domestic violence. and the level of domestic abuse in the population exceeds that of diabetes by many times. crimes in the name of honour .human trafficking. PRESCRIBING PENALTIES THEREFORE. due largely to having unsafe sex. Each year more women suffer rape or attempted rape than have a stroke. where appropriate. communities. 9262 AN ACT DEFINING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN. PROVIDING FOR PROTECTIVE MEASURES FOR VICTIMS.forced marriage. rape and sexual violence. It is important to train health workers and policymakers in the special needs of women and alert them to their special role in helping improve the status of women. are more gender sensitive. health statistics should be routinely disaggregated by gender. and women themselves. This should include training on recognizing and dealing with violence against women. sexual exploitation. women of childbearing age are putting themselves at risk of contracting the Human . Violence Against Women and their Children. sexual harassment.

in her speech at the National Conference on Women and HIV/AIDS. The Department of Health (DOH) pegs the HIV/AIDS situation in the Philippines as an epidemic. but because they were in a relationship they thought was monogamous. There is room for improvement. Patricia Gay. encourages people working on HIV/AIDS awareness to look at HIV/AIDS as a sexual and relational issue and not just as a health issue. An alarming 50 out of the 143 cases reported last January were HIV transmissions from sharing needles from drug use while 89 of the cases were from sexual contact. however. with January 2010 registering the highest number of HIV cases. not because they were particularly promiscuous. Some arrangements are even exclusive. if only for a time. in the approach and the ad campaigns. This also implies that women today may still not yet be in full control of their fertility and reproductive health. In fact. A wife is not likely to insist on condom use in a marriage if they’re open to getting . 7Dr. Campaigns to pass the Reproductive Health Bill and have it implemented as well as other awareness drives spearheaded by the DOH and various NGOs are all good and do benefit a lot of people. she got HIV from her Italian husband. 6Fubu (F*ck buddy) arrangements. There may be some truth to the news being reported that Filipinos keep having unprotected sex but it does not say how much of these happen casually or how some HIV-carriers may be unwittingly passing the virus on to multiple partners CONCLUSION Consider the following scenarios and facts. This raises the question as to who shall give a face to the many other women who are getting the virus. however casual. was neither a sex worker nor a drug addict. are still generally based on a level of trust. 18 out of the cases were female. one of the few women with HIV who have come out.Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).Lisa Enriquez. The need for a different approach.

2. have jobs. wages.This knowledge and understanding is part of the empowerment of women. Women need to know these things to be able to work together to mobilize for change.adb. 2006) 4. women need to understand the society that they live in. men are least likely to consider testing but is most likely to unknowingly spread the virus. etc. In other words. 3 Population Reference Bureau. People automatically assume their partners are clean especially if they both come from good families. and Gay guys.and be able to develop strategies for women. who makes decisions and how. References: 1. or was.ph/ . Making the Link in the Philippines: Population. http://www. Health.gov. would also enable women to identify other oppressed groups. DC: Population Reference Bureau.org/Documents/Policies/health/health501. and the access of information on their health and stability of their living. There is a need to know more about the processes of government. and the Environment (Washington. and also. etc.pregnant. with no worries of getting pregnant. who benefits from decisions made by those in power. are educated. an OFW. for better access to government. are less likely to also insist on condom use. Because of the perception that it is a gay or druggie disease. Then women will be able to identify where privilege and power lies . 5. and the economy. a wider understanding of society. the system of government. who might also be joined in struggles for improvements in living conditions.asp?p=policies 6 http://www.doh. A girlfriend may not insist on condom use if she is on the pill because she is less likely to be concerned about getting STDs from a man she loves and will only protect herself from an unwanted pregnancy. One out of three people with HIV in the country is. and of power and where it lies.

"A Position Paper on the Reproductive Health Bills".2004-1958. Jean-Patrice Baillargeon. "Association between the Current Use of Low-Dose Oral Contraceptives and Cardiovascular Arterial Disease: A Meta-Analysis". Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (The Endocrine Society) 90 (7): 3863–3870. . Ang Kapatiran Party (2010-11-15). "One big fight".7 http://www. doi:10. Nestler (2005). Philippine Daily Inquirer. Phnix. McClish. Essah. Donna K.net/tags/reproductive-health-bill Rina Jimenez-David (2010-08-21). and John E. Paulina A. PMID 15814774.1210/jc.gabrielawomensparty.

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