Women all over the world faced more health challenges in 2021 than they did in the previous year, according to the 2021 Hologic Global Women’s Health Index
. Hologic, a medical technology company, partnered with Gallup in 2020 to assess how well women’s health needs were being met.
According to the Index, five dimensions of health explain more than 80 percent of the variance in women’s life expectancy at birth: preventive care, emotional health, opinions of health and safety, basic needs, and individual health. Women were asked questions in these five categories, and their responses were the basis for scoring countries. The overall score for the Index in 2021 was 53 out of 100, one point lower than in 2020, reports CNN
Asia is home to the countries in the topmost and bottommost spots, as well as the nation that registered the biggest drop for any country in the world. Taiwan scored 70 points. Afghanistan, on the other hand, scored a measly 22 points. India’s score declined 14 points to 44.
Before the Taliban returned to power in late 2021, many Afghan women and girls were already struggling to receive adequate healthcare. But now, the Taliban rule that banned women from traveling more than 48 miles without a mahram or male guardian has led to women facing severe challenges in access to health facilities, reports Tolo News
. Some news outlets have reported
on Taliban officials preventing doctors from treating women without a mahram, according to PBS
The Index said, “If preventive care was rare in 2021 in Afghanistan, it is likely almost nonexistent in 2022, putting the lives of millions of Afghan women and girls at even greater risk, and making it even more important for their voices to be heard.” Record numbers of Afghan women reported feeling negative emotions and struggled to afford the basics.
Indian women also lead desperate lives. The Index said, “Indian women suffered the biggest decline in Emotional Health of any country … surveyed in 2021, with the score dropping from 79 to 53 in the span of a year.”Scroll.in
explains how the country’s healthcare system fails to address the high suicide rate among India’s women. India has one of the highest suicide rates among women and accounts for more than one-third of the total number suicides among women globally.
According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau, women accounted for 27 percent of the country’s total suicides in 2021 — 45,026. Almost 52 percent of the women, or 23,179, who died by suicide were housewives. “This is more than double the number of suicides by farmers (10,881) that year,” write Sanjida Arora and Sangeeta Rege, respectively, a research officer and a coordinator at Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes.