The mental health of women. Women are more likely than males to suffer from mental health issues such as bipolar disorder and depression, and one out of every five women suffers from this ailment. Women experience higher rates of PTSD and suicide, as well as other mental health problems like alcohol and substance abuse.
The problem of depression is also a major barrier to accessing mental health services, and in fact a significant proportion of women experience mental health issues in conjunction with serious health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other ailments.
Women’s poverty, lack of access to health care, and inability to afford housing are factors contributing to women’s mental health issues, and in this regard they are at even greater risk of experiencing and dying from these health conditions.
This article will discuss how gender inequality impacts women’s mental health and how this affects their wellbeing. It will also point out ways in which women can improve their mental health on a global scale, including working together and working from a solidarity perspective.
Causes of gender inequality
Although the causes of gender inequality are diverse, the key factors that contribute to this gender gap are the same:
Women suffer more discrimination
One of the primary causes of gender inequality is that women face discrimination in many different ways. These include things like unequal pay for equal work, low pay, unpaid domestic work, discrimination due to sexual orientation, unequal job tenure, sexual harassment and abuse, and more.
Women lack access to health care
Access to health care is also a significant barrier to accessing mental health services. While men can often access treatment through their employer, women often have to go through a more complicated, lengthy and sometimes expensive path of accessing treatment.
There are gender-specific needs for mental health services
The gender-specific needs for mental health services range from the individual to the society to the whole group, and may involve issues of health and wellbeing.
For example, many women have depression, anxiety and anxiety related to having children or not being able to manage their own well-being, or having difficulties with substance abuse.
Gender inequality also includes specific demands placed on women from society and society’s cultural norms. For example, women are expected to be financially independent and able to pay for many things. These demands are often reflected in societal norms that imply men should care for others, raise children and be the head of the household.
Lack of gender equality also impacts access to resources
If women are unable to access services they need, then this impact also extends to the way they are able to access resources that are available. For example, mental health support in healthcare facilities in South Africa is primarily for men, which means they can access more resources than women.
Men are often seen as being more capable of providing care and are often given less credit than women for providing care that has been delegated to them. Additionally, society sees men as having the primary responsibility for parenting and as being more involved in community life, while women may be seen as having responsibility for community involvement. In addition, many women do not have access to any form of health insurance or healthcare, which makes it difficult to access health services that would help alleviate mental health issues.
Women are disproportionately affected by violence
Violence affects women disproportionately, with women being most at risk of experiencing violence, harassment, and assault from male partners.
Lack of mental health services can also cause violence against women
Violence can lead to a woman’s mental health suffering as well. For example, many women experience physical and sexual assault and abuse, often from people known to them and from close family members. In addition, men may also experience violence. In a study of women who had experienced domestic violence from male partners, men were more likely to commit violence against their partners, while women were less likely to experience any violence from any male partner.
Women are also more likely to experience psychological and social abuse.
Lack of equal pay also affects women
Men are also more likely to experience discrimination at work, and in particular because men and women differ in many ways, there is a risk that women may be paid less for the same work.
Men also suffer disproportionately from violence
Women have higher rates of intimate partner violence than men, and this is even more the case for men who have a history of violence. More men die from assault than women, in part due to a higher frequency of alcohol use, especially when these men do not have access to treatment and mental health care.