How Investing in Women’s Health Enhances Economic Prosperity – @Lanre_Olagunju

Published:17 Jul, 2014

Lanre Olagunju
Lanre Olagunju
Lanre Olagunju

In his speech during the 2013 International Women’s Day celebration, Barack Obama said “empowering women isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.” …when women succeed, nations are safer, more secure, and more prosperous.” It is essential to note that one of the most important forms of empowerment women and children deserve is the empowerment that caters for their health, because outside good health, any other form of empowerment can’t yield appreciable result.

The health of women can’t be clearly separated from the bigger issues concerned with empowering women. To buttress that point, and see the nexus more clearly, we might need to critically ponder on the UNDP Human Development Report, 2009 which claims that 19 of the 20 countries at the bottom of the United Nations Gender Development Index are in the African Region where women carry a colossal share of the world’s burden of disease and death?

We can’t but keep the health of women and children prominent in the post 2015 agenda. In fact, the commitment to the well being of women and children as it is, is a life long commitment.  We won’t be able to say at any point that we are done with the health of women and children. No we won’t! To say so is to be ready to watch and allow the most vulnerable and most isolated in our society waste away like they don’t matter.

With all the technological advancementsand innovations that our world has recorded, it’s easy to lose sight of the reality that far too many women and children are still dying needlessly for all the wrong reasons you can think of. According to UNFPA, 6.6million children die each year for several reasons.Another report has it that 5.5 million babies enter and leave the planet without a birth or even death certificate. We gradually are becoming numb to these realities, because alreadywe are beginning to see them as mere statistics. No, that shouldn’t  be! We need to start seeing women  and children as the solution. Women in many societies of the world are caregivers, and to a large extent the health and well-being of the child solely lies on the health of the mother. My heart bleeds each time I see a child who survives the mother, I agonize over the heap of sufferings and challenges that such a child will have to go through if the child must live to maturity.

There are a whole lot of benefits in putting the health of women to the fore of national and global discussions. Basically because women’s health is first a human right, and in every sense it should be treated as such. At the same time, there are a couple of socio-economic reasons why these rights should be promoted and taken seriously, basically because it affects the progress and prosperity of every society.

From the sense that health enhances labour productivity, it is important to note that it is only when a women’s health is in good shape that she can make economic contributions to boost the well being of her children. It has been discovered that in cases where women are income earners, they tend to spend more of their earnings on things that benefit the family. Also, it has been discovered that children tend to stay in school when their mothers are alive, well and sound. A study taken in Tanzania affirms that a child’s attendance in school might drop following the death of the mother. The study showed that in families where the mother is late, kids spend half as much time in school compared to cases where the mother is alive and healthy.

This helps to show the huge economic loss attached to just seeing women as statistics or reducing them to objects of childbearing. Investing in women’s health doesn’t just improve the life of their children, it also goes a long way in affecting economic outcomes.  That we may see these things clearly and be able to put them in proper perspective, we first must identify the things women do to contribute to economic prosperity, either directly or indirectly.

One of the very clear sectors where women contribute as much as men or even more, as it is evident in some African countries is in the area of Agriculture. Let’s take Uganda for example, where women produce between 60-80 percent of the food. From the stand point that agriculture is a major source of livelihood for the country, and noting that women play a major role in such sector, it will be only be wise that the health of women benefit from huge investments through well structured health care system which will also pay good attention to maternal and newborn health issues.

We all generally need to do more in terms of getting policy makers to increase their commitment to ensure that women break free from the shackles of illiteracy, poverty, sickness and diseases, singularly because these things have kept women from maximizing their total worth and essence.

 I am @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter.

P.S A large part of this piece was first Published on the African Union Website CARMMA

The views expressed above are solely that of the author. 

  • CUSTOM AUCTION MOTORS!!! We sell all kind of tokunbo vehicles at a cheaper rate. Car Features Include: Audi A4 N350,000 Audi A6 N500,000 BMW N450,000-N800,000 Honda accord N500,000 Honda Civic N450,000 Honda CR-V N650,000 Honda Odyssey N550,000 Honda Pilot N800,000 Hyundai N400,000-N500,000 Infiniti N750-N1.1m Jeep Liberty N1.1m Kia Sorento N500,000 LandRover N600,000-N1.4m Lexus GS N800,000 Lexus GX460 N800,000 Lexus GX470 N950,000 Lexus RX330 N700,000 Lexus RX350 N800,000 Mazda 626 N550,000 Nissan Quest N450,000 RangeRover Sport N1.4m Toyota 4runner N750,000 Toyota Avalon N500,000 Toyota Avenis N650,000 Toyota Camry N300,000-N900,000 Toyota Corolla N450,000 Toyota Hiace N800,000 Toyota Hilux N800,000 Toyota Rav-4 N650,000 Toyota Sienna N500,000,toyota highlander700,000, Volkswagen Golf N250,000-N300,000′, Call the CUSTOM MARKETING MANANGER ADEBOWALE JOHNSON on this mobile line 08146664165 for more info..You can also call to clear or claim ur goods seized by The Nigeria Custom Service***

  • stylo mont blanc meisterstuck a845 et le nouveau tabserie sur sont assez bonnesDuke University a créé une page Web où les étudiants peuvent télécharger des cours enregistrés de classe, des cours de langue, des plans de cours audio et le calendrier académique de l’école. Cheryl n’a pas encore nommé un avocat de divorce,j’ai longtemps plat de noter que,stylo plume mont blanc,et non Sherman, mais elle est en passant par les noms et organiser des r&#

  • Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based on the same information you discuss
    and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my viewers would enjoy your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me
    an e mail.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

‘President’ Ambode: Lagos to link inner roads to Smart city project

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday said plans are afoot to link inner roads in the State to the Lagos Smart City Project, just as he expressed readiness to commence deployment of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras in October across the State. Governor Ambode, who disclosed this in Coker Aguda area of the State at the commissioning of some of the 114 roads, newly constructed in the 20 Local Government Areas (LGs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs),...

Shade Of Life: Ebonyi People are myopic, they don’t behave like Igbos – IPOB

The Indigenous People of Bifara, IPOB, has lampooned the people of Ebonyi State for spurning the sit-at-home order it passed. The group had in a circular issued few days ago, asked Ndigbo nationwide to spend the day indoor in protest against the continuous detention of the leader of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. The directive, however, witnessed non-compliance as normal activities and vehicular movements were unperturbed across Ebonyi State. The Coordinator of IPOB, Mr. Ugochukwu Nweke while reacting to the development, described the...

Buhari approves 56th independence anniversary programme

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the programme of events for the commemoration of Nigeria’s 56th independence anniversary. Bolaji Adebiyi, Director of Press in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja. Mr. Adebiyi said an interdenominational thanksgiving church service had been scheduled for September 25 at the National Worship Centre, Abuja at 4p.m. A public lecture and Jumma’at prayers are slated for September 30 at 11 a.m. and 1...

PDP may declare Dariye’s seat vacant – Dachom

Former Organising Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in Plateau state, Mr. Mike Dachom, has said that the party might declare the seat of a former governor of the state, Mr. Joshua Dariye, vacant following his defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress. Dariye was governor of Plateau State under PDP from 1999 to 2007. Dariye, before his defection, represents Plateau central senatorial zone in the Senate under the PDP. He first got to the Senate under the Labour Party in...

Nigeria loses N800bn to auto policy

The President, Shippers Association, Lagos State, Mr Jonathan Nicol, said the Federal Government had lost about N800 billion to the auto policy on imported vehicles. The 70 per cent tariff and levy on imported vehicles which took effect in 2015, had reduced vehicle imports by more than 50 per cent. Nicol on Friday said that other ports outside Nigeria in Benin, Togo and Ghana now accepted the vehicles and developing their economies with proceeds from the imports. According to him, with the...

MTN denies paying bribe to reduce NCC fine

South Africa’s MTN denied it paid a bribe to Nigerian officials to reduce its fine to 330 billion naira ($1.05bn) as part of settling a dispute over disconnecting unregistered SIM cards in the West African country.   MTN said in a statement on Friday there had been allegations that a top official in the Nigerian presidency took a payment towards reducing the fine.   The telecom group was initially fined $5.2bn last October for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM...

Your anti-corruption policy scaring investors – Sen. Bruce tells Buhari

Senator Ben Bruce (PDP Bayelsa East) on Thursday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to adjust his approach to the anti-corruption crusade, saying the policy was scaring investors. Bruce, who disclosed this while contributing to the Senate’s debate on the economic recession in the country, said Nigeria should not expect foreign investments as even local investors had stopped investing. He said that people who had money to invest were no longer doing so because the anti-graft agencies were harassing any person with...

EPL: Mourinho feels heat as Wenger marks anniversary

Jose Mourinho has vowed to silence the critics when Manchester United face champions Leicester, while his old rival Arsene Wenger hopes to celebrate a memorable milestone with a rare success against Chelsea on Saturday. Mourinho finds himself under fire less than two months into his United reign after three successive defeats and an unconvincing League Cup win at third tier Northampton. United are already trailing six points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and another setback at Old Trafford this weekend...

Reps begin investigation into Jibrin’s budget padding allegations.

The House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges on Friday in Abuja, commenced public investigation into allegations of fraud made by Rep. Abdulmumin Jibrin against the House. This followed Wednesday’s resolution of the House which mandated the committee to investigate the allegations, bordering on breach of privileges of members. It would be recalled that the former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, accused the leadership of the National Assembly of padding the 2016 budget. In his allegation, Jibrin alluded that the corruption...

Khama should ‘go hang’ for telling Mugabe to step down – Minister

Ian Khama’s call for President Robert Mugabe to step down hasn’t gone down too well with the Zimbabwe government: the Botswana president should just “go hang” Mugabe’s former spin-doctor says. Or he should concentrate on Botswana’s desert, Jonathan Moyo says witheringly in an article for a private weekly in Zimbabwe. Khama’s call on his ageing neighbour to step down after 36 years in power was greeted thankfully by many Zimbabweans on social media, where the current wave of protests against the...

Bayelsa first lady, Rachael Dickson gives birth to quadruplet

Governor Henry Seriake Dickson and family may have to continue in celebration as after many years of childlessness, his wife and First Lady of Bayelsa State, Dr. Rachael Dickson delivered of a quadruplet – a bouncing baby boy and three baby girls.   We gathered that the mother and children are doing very well.   Saint Mienpamo, Special Assistant on Research & Social Media to the Governor says the ”Governor’s joy knows no bound.”   The latest news has been tagged a double celebration as...

Electrician jailed 3 months for stealing N11,000 phone

A Jos Chief Magistrates’ Court on Friday sentenced a 22-year-old electrician, Abdulgafar Musa to three months in prison for stealing a Nokia phone valued N11,000. Musa, of No. 66, Shehu Street, Jos, was charged with theft. The Magistrate, Mr Jovita Binjin, sentenced the convict after he pleaded guilty to the crime and begged for leniency. In his plea, the convict said “It was the devil’s hand work; jobs are not coming and I needed money to eat and also give help to...

Recession: Those demanding asset sale are economic predators – Sani

A Nigerian senator, Shehu Sani, has described proponents of sale of the country’s national asset as “economic predators and profiteers who want to take advantage of the situation in the country.” Mr. Sani, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debts, said in a statement on Friday that “Nigeria’s capitalist forces raped Nigeria to recession and now they want to kill and bury it.” Nigeria is currently going through one of the worst recessions in its history, due...

Stop expecting too much from Buhari, pray for him – APGA chieftain

A Chieftain of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, in Katsina State, Alhaji Umar Tata, on Friday urged Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari with prayers to lead Nigeria out of its present predicaments. Tata, the party’s governorship candidate in 2015, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Funtua, Katsina state. He cautioned Nigerians against over reliance on the President, saying that “he is human and capable of making mistakes.” According to him, what is...

NEMA returns 5,403 citizens to their homes from IDPs camps

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed the return of 5403 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) to the home after their stay in Camps. The returnees include 1517 in Mafa , 750 in konduga, 1200 in Ngamboru and about 1,936 are due to return to Dikwa This is coming at a period Governor of Borno State Alh kashim shettima and a team of NEMA North East zonal staff led by Zonal coordinator Alh Muhammed Kanar spent the night in Bama in...

Police Uncover Fraudsters’ Den In Ogun

The Ogun State Police Command has uncovered a “fraudsters’ den” at Pokuku Village in the Abeokuta North Local Government Area of the state. The den, which was nicknamed “Pokuku Shrine” was until Wednesday allegedly used by suspected fraudsters to carry out different forms of criminal activities such as fraud, according to the police. The state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Ilyasu, on Wednesday said the police raided the shrine after an intelligence report on criminal activities being perpetrated there. The shrine,...

Bayelsa State Gov Dickson’s Wife Gives Birth to Quadruplets

Wife of Bayelsa State governor and first lady of the state, Rachael Dickson, has put to bed quadruplets (four babies) today. The team of four babies includes four females and one boy. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, chief Press secretary to governor Seriake Dickson said in a statement released moments ago: "This is particularly good news for the family and Bayelsans because this bundle of joy is coming after many years of praying and waiting upon the Lord. "Governor Dickson thanks friends, family members and Bayelsans...

Patience Jonathan: EFCC places witnesses against under security watch

As the trial of former aides of ex-First Lady, Patience Jonathan, begins on Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has placed its 13 witnesses in the case under security watch. The witnesses, including a banker and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) are expected to tell the court how four slush accounts were opened for the former First Lady. It was gathered that the accounts were opened by the ex-First Lady’s former Senior Special Assistant (Domestic/Household and Social Events to...

Gov. Dickson hails judiciary as APC, Sylva lose at Appeal Court

The Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, has commended the judiciary for its steadfastness in protecting the sanctity of the ballot and upholding itself as the bastion of the nation’s democracy. Dickson’s comment came on Thursday afternoon following the judgement of the Court of Appeal, which upheld the earlier judgement of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, in his favour. Both the Tribunal and the Court of Appeal upheld the election of Dickson, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party...

Markets open as traders boycott IPOB’s sit-at-home order

The sit-at-home order by pro-Biafra groups, especially the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) was boycotted in Imo State Friday. Markets, schools, government offices, as well as other public places were opened for business against the directive of the separatists groups, which ordered complete closure of all markets and business places across the Southeast to pray for the release of the detained IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kalu. In Owerri, the Imo...

Watch This Guy Destroy An iPhone 7 In Order To Test Its Durability

Recently, YouTuber JerryRigEverything got his hands on the new jet black iPhone 7 after reading a peculiar warning on Apple's website. According to the video, while the company assured buyers that the phone's surface is just "as hard as other anodized Apple products," it also said that due to the color's high shine, it "may show fine micro-abrasions with use." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hya-sd4sWY Read More: cosmopolitan