Nowadays, women want to be financially independent, so she decides to complete her education and to a job to give a better life to her family and herself. We often feel that after getting a job, life becomes easy and comfortable. But for women, after getting a job, life brings more challenges. As working women have to balance both professional and personal life, she often ignores the maintenance status of her health. It further leads to various health issues that cause a hindrance while performing her job. We often heard about the stigma and myths related to periods. But now, even women’s health issues are stigmatized.
Recently, a survey was conduct in which 1000 working women aged between 25 and 55 across seven cities participated. Emcure Pharmaceuticals, in association with Ipsos Research Private Limited (Ipsos India), conducted the study to obtain insights on the cultural, social, and medical outlook for working women and find solutions involving various stakeholders. The Indian Women’s health Report 2021 revealed that half of the women under survey weren’t comfortable talking about one or more health issues. It is due to the societal stigma and taboos associated with the health problems of women.
The survey revealed that women in white-collar jobs shared that their stigma is associate with health problems. It leads to social pressure and professional issues. 90% of working women face a conflict of interest while balancing personal, familial, and professional obligations. Due to which 86% of working women have observed that their colleagues, relatives, and friends drop out from the workforce, and 59% cited health issues as the main problem.
Stigma related to health issues:
The society holds stigma related to periods. Periods are a part of women’s life. Women face various period-associated challenges, including period cramps, mood swings, headaches, and bloating. During periods women have to follow the myths related to it and the stigma related to periods makes the situation more uncomfortable for women. Reports revealed that 86% of working women had faced stereotypes or judgments associated with periods. They cannot enter temples, participate in rituals, enter the kitchen, or cook food.
Society holds a stigma related to women who have endometriosis isn’t suitable for marriage. 66% of working women think the same, and 67% say that talking about health issues is considered taboo in society. The study highlights that health issues in women such as PCOS, breast cancer, and endometriosis are subjected to taboo and stereotypes.
Summing up the topic:
Holding stigma related to health issues can cause a severe problem for women in the future. Stigmas don’t allow women to talk about various health issues they are suffering. Such stigma and stereotypes related to health issues insert multiple personal, familial, and professional problems. It also leads women employees to leave the workforce. The misconception and illogical societal taboos and stigmas associated with women’s health problems affect India’s white-collar women across different sectors.
In this survey, half of the working women were either diagnose with or are aware of other women diagnose with health issues such as infertility, breast cancer, PCOS/PCOD, and other matters. Women diagnosed with health issues are hesitant to talk about their condition to other women due to stigma related to health problems. Such stigma and stereotypes should be eliminate from society, and people need to understand and help women find solutions to cope with the health problems.