Diseases don’t affect a person by choice, gender disparities do without sparing healthcare

Healthcare sector is not free from gender disparities. Women struggle to climb up the ladder in the workforce and it is a rarity to find them in positions of leadership.

As per data estimates, women in the healthcare sector are subjected to significant gender bias. On an average, their income is 24 percent less than their male colleagues, as per what a joint report by the International Labour Organisation and World Health Organisation.

The difference between the incomes of men and women cannot be explained as of now, but discrimination can be guessed as one of the reasons for the same. In terms of composition, women account for 67 percent in the healthcare sector globally.

As per the report, the income in the sector is low when compared to other sectors and is congruous to those where women are in majority.

Women working for healthcare have to tackle gender inequality along with diseases

Image Source: ILO

As per research, discrimination, segregation, stereotypes and so on make women take up jobs which don’t pay much, such as nursing. Men on the other do jobs with that are ensure high income such as operations or surgeries.

Women healthcare workers often don’t feel secure in the working environment around them. They fear violence and harrassment at their place of work and most of the times don’t have any say in the process of decision-making.

Women, as mentioned above, are more prominent in the healthcare sector but only 25 percent of them are assigned senior positions. WHO and Women in Global Health, based on their analysis, quote ” In general, women deliver global health and men lead it.”

Gender inequality is a barrier to a developed healthcare system

Image Credit: Anna Parini/Scientific American

The WHO in a report published in 2019 stated that women provide medical services to about five billion people all over the world, yet their work is not acknowledged and at times, they are not even paid for it.

Gender inequity does affect women negatively, it also abrades the strength of the healthcare system. Women even after performing significant amounts of tasks assigned to them go overlooked and lack beneficial resources and social and financial support.

It is a deeply rooted thinking, that women are responsible for looking after the household. Some women working for healthcare, are discouraged from working outside their homes since the start. Some are approved to work but still they are to be responsible for the household.

Women, in comparison to men, are less who get the opportunity get proper training for being assigned jobs that assure their well-being and are in their interest preceded by education.

Many women have to balance the work in their household along with their profession which is a hindrance to their pursuit of the training they require in order to utilise their skills and for advancing their carrier.

Gender biases exist within the healthcare systems which see a woman as passive. The 2019 report by WHO stated that only 25 percent women hold senior positions, as mentioned earlier. This gives the hint that leadership qualities are thought of as being suitable to a male by nature, which are characterised by power, strength and control.

Healthcare sector does not have ample schemes or plans to aid, upskill and mentor women for their progress in the profession.

As per research, differences in wages are very little determined by factors that constitute labour. These factors include age, education, whether the job is full-time or part-time. Gender biases don’t let go of providing wages to the employees.

Considering a woman, her income is determined more by her conditions of living, such as if she is a mother or not, how much would be adequate for her, which she doesn’t really have a say about.

The healthcare sector is supposed to cure a person by treating him or her but it has the issue of gender disparities entrenched into it. They become a barrier to the development and to an extent, shift the focus of care and treatment to the practice of discrimination.

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