According to the UNICEF, 66% of the world’s work is done by women. This includes work inside the home as care-givers for children and seniors, paid and un-paid labor, food production (cultivating crops, collecting and storing harvests) and resource management (water and fuel). If women are in poor health, due to poor nutrition, lack of access to health care, or the impacts of disease, their reduced work capacity will inevitably lead to multiple, cumulative, negative impacts to families, communities and to national economies. Improving women’s health, and community health overall, can have a positive multiplier effects locally, and nationally.
The Health method enables project developers to evaluate how the project has improved the overall health of women. This can be documented through improved health education, expanded access to health services and clinics and improved staffing and supplies to existing health clinics. Additional measurable improvements may include: infant and maternal mortality rates, rates of anemia amongst women, vaccination rates and local disease rates (respiratory, gastrointestinal, etc.).
Investing in women’s health is not only the ‘right thing to do’, but investments in health enable success in other domains. Further, outcomes in health investments can be effectively measured, and changes over time can be tracked.