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Research reveals a staggering factor impacting women's health: 'It shouldn't take a surgical procedure to make us realize'

"For the past six-seven years, the situation has worsened."

"For the past six-seven years, the situation has worsened."

Photo Credit: iStock

Women are frequently expected to suffer in silence, but some have recently spoken out about a staggering factor disproportionately impacting their health. 

What happened?

As detailed by the Associated Press, researchers discovered that rising global temperatures are more negatively impacting the health of women in India. 

The report, which was published as part of the India Climate Journalism Program series, noted that 75% of agricultural workers in the country are women, and high heat is one element that has left them increasingly vulnerable. 

Manju Devi, who worked at a farm in Delhi, told the AP that she worked through her pain for months before being urgently taken to a hospital for a hysterectomy after suffering a prolapsed uterus.

"I endured excruciating pain for months, scared to speak about it publicly. It shouldn't take a surgical procedure to make us realize the cost of increasing heat," she said

An increase in pests destroying crops also led to the use of pesticides and insecticides. 

"With the rise in pest attacks in farms, we have started using more than three times pesticides and fertilizers in our farms and without any safety gears my hand got burned by the chemicals and one of my fingers had to be amputated," said Savita Singh, who told the outlet that she didn't agree with her husband's decision to use more chemical solutions.  

Babita Kumari, a 22-year-old wage laborer, reportedly suffered stillbirths after working in unusually extreme heat. 

"For the past six-seven years, the situation has worsened and heat has become unbearable to withstand," Kumari said

Why is this important?

Women and girls make up approximately half of the global population, and it benefits all of humanity when they are empowered and their needs are actively taken into consideration.

As one example, UN Climate Change News found that women, who account for almost 50% of the agricultural workforce in developing countries, can "increase their agricultural yields by 20 to 30%" when they receive the same support and resources as men, which could help to cut world hunger by as much as 17%. 

Countries that have "high representation" of women in their governing bodies are also reportedly "more likely to ratify international environmental treaties."

Researchers have warned that parts of the planet could be "uninhabitable" by 2500 if humans don't change behaviors that are contributing to the dangerous rise in temperatures, as reported by the World Economic Forum.  

What is being done to help?

The 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) recently held its first-ever Health Day, focused on the intersection of public health and our planet's changing temperatures.

Shweta Narayan, a researcher and advocate at Health Care Without Harm, told the AP prior to the event that this was a promising step forward. 

Getting involved in climate issues can also positively impact the lives of women close to home and abroad. Supporting pro-climate candidates, advocating for policy changes at work, or donating to climate causes are just some of the ways to help.

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