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. 

  • http://Www.omojuwa.com Custom adebowale johnson

    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***

  • http://www.imagis.fr/iso_upload/ basket isabelle marant

    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&#

  • http://www.yourdomain.com domain

    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

Adeyemi Adedokun: Road accidents, Speed Limiter Device and The Federal Road Safety Commission of Nigeria

The Federal Road Safety Corps of Nigeria (FRSC) in collaboration with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is set to begin the enforcement of Speed Limiter Device on commercial motorists from today 1st September 2015, in an attempt to reduce road accidents in the country. The Commission confirmed during an interview that the enforcement on commercial motorists is the first phase of the process, which means it might sooner or later be...

The Secret To Losing Belly Fat

A study in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that when compared to women who cycled at a consistent pace for 40 minutes, women who worked out for 20 minutes, but alternated between eight-second sprints and 12 seconds of low-intensity cycling, lost more belly fat after 15 weeks. Work out half as long and lose more fat? Sounds good to me! You can do intervals with virtually any type of activity. Here are some ways to...

American Clerk Still Refuses To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

A county clerk in Kentucky has again refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, invoking her religious beliefs and God's authority, this time in defiance of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against her. On Tuesday morning, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis' office denied the licenses to at least two couples. At first, Davis was in her office with the door closed and blinds drawn. But she emerged a few minutes later, telling the couples...

Real Madrid: We Did Everything Necessary In De Gea Transfer From Man Utd

The Spanish outfit has stated that they did as much as they possibly could to sign the goalkeeper before the national deadline closed on Monday. Real Madrid have claimed they did everything possible to sign goalkeeper David de Gea from Manchester United. The £29 million deal to sign the Spain international would have seen Keylor Navas go in the opposite direction for around £10m, but the necessary paperwork was not completed before Monday's midnight CET deadline. In...

Nigeria Must Not Miss Polio Free Certification In 2017- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday warned that nothing must stop Nigeria from being certified polio-free by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017. He has ordered the agencies involved to increase tempo of the fight against the virus. He gave the order at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja while receiving polio high level advocacy team. The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Linus Awute?, told State House correspondents at the end of the closed-door meeting, that “the President...

El-Rufai Raises Alarm About Fraudsters Impersonating Him

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on Monday raised the alarm that fraudsters are using his name to defraud job seekers in the state. The Governor warned those applying for employment in the State Civil Service or contracts to be wary of such unscrupulous elements. In a statement he issued through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, Governor El-Rufai said that security agencies were on the trail of the fraudsters. According...

White House Responds To Kanye West’s Presidential Bid

A representative from the White House has responded to Kanye West's recent announcement that he will run to be the US President in 2020. Responding to West's statement of intent, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told Billboard that he looks "forward to seeing what slogan he chooses to embroider on his campaign hat". The news follows West's recent backing of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for the 2016 Presidential campaign. Read More: nme

Video: Runtown Ft. Wizkid – Bend Down Pause

Here comes the official video to the trending single titled “Bend Down” by Eric Manny frontman “Runtown” featuring starboy “Wizkid” and (Major Lazer). The Video was shot in malibu by “Jay Will” Watch, Download & enjoy!!! Watch “Bend Down Pause (Official Music Video) – Runtown ft. Wizkid & Major Lazer” https://youtu.be/ovhX7LUzhPs

Court Grants Dasuki Bail On Self Recognition

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday granted bail to former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki, arraigned before the court for illegal possession of firearms. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Adeniyi Ademola granted Dasuki bail on self-recognition, after he pleaded not guilty. However, the judge directed Dasuki to submit his passport to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court. The Department of State Service (DSS) arraigned...

Watch Jackie Chan Speak Pidgin, Yoruba, Igbo & Hausa

You probably might have seen this movie, " Dragon Blade", starring Jackie Chan, John Cusack, among others; but you have to see Jackie Chan speak  Pidgin, Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa in the bid to promote the movie to Nigerians. Watch clip below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBDD7S_bmGw Credit: FilmOne Distribution/ YouTube

Woman Allegedly Killed Her Infant Daughter, Kept Her Body For Months

Christina Colantonio, 28, has been charged with second-degree murder after police found her baby's dead body in her apartment. It is believed that Colantonio, who was living alone in the Batavia, New York, apartment, killed her daughter shortly after she was born three months ago. According to The Daily News, police responded to a call from an acquaintance of Colantonio's reporting a "suspicious condition" at Colantonio's apartment. "Batavia police detectives were...

Video: Banky W – “High Notes”

Banky W continues to prove his versatility as he premieres his first official single in 2015 titled “High Notes”. The video is finally out and we are super excited about it. Produced by Cobhams Asuquo, this RnB number has an infectious pop twist which sees Banky displaying his incredible vocals while teasing us with a rap verse. The video for “High Notes” was recently shot in South Africa...

Army Issues 7-Day Ultimatum To Community To Produce Killers Of Soldier, Policeman

Military authorities in Rivers State have given a one-week ultimatum to eight communities in Emohua Local Government Area of the state to fish out and surrender the gunmen, who allegedly ambushed and shot dead a soldier and police officer, while they were on duty along the Emohua-Kalabari Road in the area. Niger Delta Voice gathered that the incident occurred last week, and both the army and police in the state were furious....

I Have Not Been Approached, Caitlyn Jenner Opens Up On Dating

In the latest episode of "I Am Cait," Caitlyn Jenneropens up about her future and if that includes dating. "It's been, like, a month or two now that I've been out," she said at the time of taping for Sunday night's episode. "So I honestly haven't even thought or been approached or been tempted in any direction," she added according to People magazine's recap. Read More: GoodMorningAmerica

9 Best Compliments You Can Give A Woman

1. A Sweet Thought "'I want my daughter to turn out like you.' Told to me by two different men, one of whom I consider my professional mentor and one of the main reasons I got into the line of work I did. This was in my early 20s, when I was earnest, relatively vice-free and full of promise. The daughters in question were young teenagers. Haven't heard it lately, but I always thought of this...

Kris Jenner, 59, Shows Off Bikini Body

At 59 years old, it's safe to say Kris Jenner's still got it! The Kardashian matriarch showed off her enviable physique while walking on the beach in St. Barts during the family's annual vacation, sporting a little black bikini. Check out the mother-of-six's impressively flat stomach above. Read More: ETonline

An Eligible Bachelor Is Off The Market With Baby On The Way

Sorry, ladies! One of R&B's most eligible bachelors has officially been taken. Ne-Yo caught everyone by surprise when he announced that he and his fiancée, Crystal Renay, not only tied the knot, but they are expecting a baby as well. The image Renay is holding in Ne-Yo's Instagram post is subtle, but a source...

Why Justin Bieber Cried After His VMAs Performance

After performing at the VMAs for the first time since he was "that sweet kid with the haircut," Justin Bieber broke down in tears. When the crying started, the Internet was ablaze with questions. As Buzzfeed asked, was his harness too tight? Was he not allowed into Taylor Swift's clique? Did Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' spat upset him? The answer, as it turns out, is that the Biebs was just plain overwhelmed. According to a source...

Masquerade Arrested After Invading Church, Floging Pastors & Church Members

Four masquerades, on Sunday, invaded Christ Apostolic Church in Epinmi Akoko, Akoko North-West Local Government Area of Ondo State, disrupted the service and flogged officiating pastors and some members of the church. A source said that the masquerades, who were earlier prevented from entering the church by the workers, forced their way in and headed towards the officiating pastor, beating him and other pastors. The invasion disrupted the service, as members of the church, who...

Nigerian Air Force Makes Full Deployment Of Aircraft To North-East

The Nigerian Air Force has announced the full deployment of its aircraft to combat the security crisis in Nigeria’s north-east. Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall, Sadique Abubakar, who announced the deployment on Monday, said the current security challenges in Nigeria heavily relied on air power and that discussions were ongoing with the Presidency to ensure the Air Force was battle ready. He urged Senior Officers of the force to ensure that integrity, excellence and service...

37 Migrants Die As Boat Sinks Off Libyan Coast

A boat carrying migrants sank off Libya’s Mediterranean coast, killing at least 37 people, a local official said, the second such fatal accident within days. “We had reports this morning that there are seven bodies of illegal migrants that sank off Khoms (east of Tripoli)…but we don’t have any details how many migrants were on board,” said Mohamad al-Misrati, a spokesman for the Red Crescent in Tripoli. Fishermen later discovered 30 more bodies in the same...