Major life transitions, such as pregnancy, motherhood, and menopause, can create physical and emotional stress for women. Negative life experiences (infertility and perinatal loss, poverty, discrimination, violence, unemployment and isolation) also affect women's mental health and well-being. Health is influenced throughout life by many factors, such as sex, gender, racial ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, and environment.
women's healthis an essential part of the NIEHS research agenda.
Researchers investigate environmental, lifestyle, and behavioral factors to prevent or reduce women's likelihood of developing health problems. And some of the health problems that affect both men and women can affect women differently. The British Health and Lifestyle Survey in the 1980s weighed evidence on key determinants of health and argued that the circumstances of women and men seemed to have a deeper effect on their health than their behaviors. Although worldwide women's life expectancy at birth is higher than that of men: 68.2 years for men and 73.2 years for women, in India, however, life expectancy for both sexes is the same, and yet there are many reasons why women die earlier due to neglect over the years.
Governments can better address people's needs and make the most of the human potential of both men and women, by recognizing diversity between the sexes. Factors affecting women's health in Eastern and Central Europe with special emphasis on infectious diseases, mental, environmental and reproductive health. These represent various structures of inequality that, together with gender, can aggravate the disadvantage and discrimination that women still face. Women in the region enjoy relatively good levels of education, as the region has achieved high levels of education in general.
For women and men who have jobs, there is evidence that, as a result of restructuring, workloads have intensified and this can have critical health effects. We will revisit the pledges made in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action with a view to renewing the global effort to eliminate the inequalities that place decent health services beyond the reach of so many women. While women may now have a greater degree of economic independence than before, their relationship with the labor market remains weaker than that of men. Women's reproductive health problems include high levels of maternal mortality, a large number of abortions per woman in her lifetime and live birth, limited availability of information and services for family planning, and the increasing incidence of STDs.
The erosion of family benefits and childcare infrastructure has significantly increased women's roles as caregivers and, therefore, their workload within the family. A major source of women's dissatisfaction with health care services is being left out of decisions about their treatment and care. Not surprisingly, women also have lower self-esteem and are more likely to worry about body image (see chapter entitled Body Weight and Body Image). Too many young women continue to struggle to protect themselves against sexual transmission of HIV and to get the treatment they need.