Good Health: An Imperative for Women Leaders

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On World Health Day 2021 (7 April), sheatwork underlines the health factor and highlights its significance for women entrepreneurs

The pandemic has propped up the importance of good health for everyone.  And, what a better day than the World Health Day (April 7) – to emphasize this. Suffice it to say that this is an initiative taken by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness about the overall health and well-being of people across the world.

And, now we are facing a spike and there is talk about the second wave. “Considering the sudden spike in the number of Covid cases across the country, it has become vital for various MNCs & conglomerates to efficiently allocate their CSR resources towards the health sector. No matter how developed a country is, there is not a single medical structure across the world that is capable of handling a nation with over one billion residents. Hence, to ensure the safety of the people of our nation, it is vital for companies to come up with CSR interventions that are solely dedicated to the Health Sector. This will not only help people to have better access to medical facilities but will also aid in providing a significant boost to our Health & Welfare sector. It is important for all of us to come up with interventions to ensure the development of India’s Health Sector because only a collective endeavour can help us to achieve true economic and social progress”: Ms Romira Roy, Founder & Chairperson SEED.

Every year, there is a theme attached to the day. The theme for World Health Day 2020 was to support the COVID warriors – nurses and midwives. And incidentally, WHO honoured the health workers who played a key role in the Covid-19 pandemic, as they chose 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” – to accentuate their contribution to make the world a healthier place.

Historical significance

Historically tracking back, it was in 1948 when the First World Health Assembly was held, it was decided to institute a World Health Day – to raise global awareness on specific themes related to health, in order to highlight an area of importance. So, since 1950, the World Health Day has been celebrated on April 7 every year.

On World Health Day this year, the focus is on a campaign to build a fairer, healthier world.  As far as women entrepreneurs are concerned, it is very important that they keep fit and healthy. Only when they are in good health, can they run their businesses skillfully.  It is seen that when women become leaders (as opposed to men), they bring skills, different perspectives, along with cultural differences which ultimately drive effective solutions.  With different perspectives and a sense of awareness, women can investigate finer details to decipher what is really going on behind the scene. Plus women also need healthcare more and even access the healthcare system, much more than men; for besides their reproductive and sexual health needs, they also have more chronic non-reproductive health issues such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and osteoporosis.

With so much attention given to health, COVID-19 highlighted the fact that some people are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others – entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live and work.

Health is of prime importance today

Healthcare is not easily within reach of all. Across the globe, some people struggle to make ends meet with scanty daily incomes, fewer employment opportunities, poor housing conditions and education, and they experience greater gender inequality too; plus, they even have little or no access to safe environments, clean water and air, food security and health services. This leads to unnecessary suffering, illnesses and premature death too. And what does this do? It certainly, harms our societies and economies.

This is not only an unequal world, it is also very unfair. That’s why it is time to call on women entrepreneurs and leaders to ensure that people around them and those who are related to their business stay in good health.  Moreover, women leaders must be urged to monitor health inequities, and to ensure that all people are able to access quality health services when and where they need them. 

WHO, in highlighting health, shows its commitment to ensuring that everyone, everywhere, can realize the right to good health. Now, with healthcare coming to the centre of attention, it should relieve people in a big way, for sure.

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