Women’s health more affected by pandemic than men’s – EURACTIV.com
The coronavirus pandemic affected women more than men in France in 2020, according to the national public health agency Santé Publique France, which said that the socio-economic status of women played a more important role than purely health factors. . EURACTIV France reports.
The social and gender distribution of the coronavirus during the first containment in spring 2020 was largely neglected, mainly due to the lack of data, the public health agency wrote in an article in its weekly epidemiological bulletin published on Tuesday (July 13).
Based on data from the COVID-19 Barometer, a weekly Internet survey of a sample of 5,000 people representative of the French population, the researchers studied the relationship between gender, employment and SARS infections. CoV-2.
“During the first containment in spring 2020, women reported a medical diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection more often than men (4% vs. 3.2%),” the report said, highlighting the socio-economic factors. economic and social roles of women. .
The health agency cited the high proportion of women working in the health sector (70%), who thus came into more frequent contact with infected patients, as a partial explanation for the higher number of cases. In the health sector, women accounted for 70% of coronavirus cases. Women also make up 60% of the retail sector, another industry heavily affected by the pandemic.
Women at risk
However, the pandemic has affected women in other ways, including aspects of gynecological care and domestic violence.
At the ‘Learning from COVID-19 for Women’s Health and Well-Being’ webinar, hosted in June by global healthcare company Organon and the European Parliamentary Forum, speakers discussed these issues in more detail. .
Neil Datta, secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, warned that in 2020, women had increasingly found it difficult to access contraceptive and abortion services.
Dutch MEP Samira Rafaela from the Renew Europe group stressed that Poland was restricting access to abortion during the lockdown. “Some EU governments have abused the lockdown to reduce women’s human rights,” she said.
The pandemic has also had an impact on pregnant women.
“The medical staff refused to do the first pregnancy consultation, the spouses of pregnant women did not have access to pregnancy monitoring and there was no access to fertility services,” commented Datta. This was made worse by the fact that pregnant women had to take the risk of giving birth in hospitals that also treated patients with COVID-19.
Besides the virus, “women have faced violence and domestic violence, and the disruption of dedicated services has prevented them from leaving their abusers., ” said Bathylle Missika, Head of the Networks, Partnerships and Gender Division at the OECD Development Center.
According to Peggy Maguire, Director General of the European Institute of Women’s Health, “health is a biological factor but also a social one”. From a mental health perspective, women have also shown more symptoms of anxiety because they are more concerned about the health of their families, she added.
Most webinar attendees pointed out that collecting data and funding a more equal health policy would help tackle these inequalities, which could even survive the pandemic.
[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]