20 Things Women Want in 2020
In this new decade, women demand better healthcare!
(On International Women's Day, FIT is bringing you stories of women's health, often ignored, under reported, in our campaign 'Her Health.' This story has been republished from our archives.)
It’s the beginning of a new decade. As dive into 2020, FIT asks: can this be the year women get equal healthcare rights?
What do women really want in 2020?
- Better maternal healthcare: because annually, around 44,000 women die of preventable pregnancy-related causes in India.
- Someone to take our pain seriously! In this decade, we are done with healthcare gaslighting and doctors telling us our pain is in our head.
- Non-judgemental doctors: No, we are not just baby-making machines, please give us neutral healthcare advise.
- The right to safe abortion: India has progressive legal laws on abortion - it is LEGAl for up to 20 weeks into the pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act. Still, many doctors refuse to perform this and women are unaware of their rights under law. 10 women die every day, and thousands more face serious and permanent injuries annually due to unsafe abortion-related causes. This new decade, let’s remember: my body, my right.
- More research into female sexuality: Women experience pleasure too!
- More contraceptive access: India has the highest number of women — 31 million — with an "unmet need" for contraception. Stop asking us if we are married and give me the damn contraceptives!
- Inclusive healthcare: In 2020, quality healthcare needs to be affordable and accessible to all women - poor women and trans-women too. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 was passed on 25 November and while it explicitly prohibits discrimination in healthcare, it does not account for affordability or includes trans women in the decision-making process.
- More sex-specific research: women have different pain receptors and biological responses but medicines are still primarily tested on men only and given to everyone because the male is assumed to be normal. This leaves many people in the lurch, for example, women often get misdiagnosed and underdiagnosed in heart attack cases as they experience heart attacks differently from men - but we only check for male symptoms. Let’s correct this in 2020?
- Period Leave: It’s about time!
- Don’t forget older women: More research into perimenopause and menopause
- Accessible mental healthcare: Suicide is India’s leading cause of death among women ages 15 to 29. Let's understand and fix this.
(For long, women's health has been sidelined and put on the back burner, not taken seriously, not researched, not explored, silenced. FIT is launching its 'Her Health' campaign, that will focus on health stories that put women and their health issues front and centre. What would you like us to talk about? Write to us at FIT@thequint.com)
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