Nepal gender bias sparks health crisis in young women: Amnesty

February 20, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of young women living in impoverished areas of rural Nepal have developed a debilitating uterus condition which usually only occurs after the menopause, Amnesty International said Thursday.

In a report, Amnesty blamed "ingrained discrimination" for the widespread prevalence of uterine prolapse, a condition which sees the uterus descend into and protrude out of the vagina, with many falling victim after having to return to work in the fields days after giving birth.

Patients suffer from that leaves them unable to work, walk or even sit comfortably.

Madhu Malhotra, director of Amnesty's Gender, Sexuality and Identity Programme, said that successive governments had failed to address the underlying issues which led so many women to develop the condition.

"If you look at the risk factors leading to uterine prolapse, we see malnutrition among women, cultural practices like forced early marriages, early pregnancies, no rest after childbirth, poor access to healthcare," Amnesty's Malhotra told AFP in Kathmandu.

Nepal, one of the poorest countries in Asia, is a predominantly rural nation where women typically marry early, have children while still in their teens and are expected at the same time to labour in the fields.

Amnesty, quoting UN and Nepalese government figures, said that up to 10 percent of Nepal's 13.6 million female population were sufferers but the actual figure was much higher in some areas.

Prevailing social stigma around the condition, which makes it painful for women to have sex and complicates childbirth, leaves many women reluctant to seek help, the report said.

"It's high time it is seen as a human rights issue, not just a women's health issue," Malhotra said.

Explore further: Many women with pelvic prolapse prefer to keep uterus

Related Stories

Many women with pelvic prolapse prefer to keep uterus

November 22, 2013
(HealthDay)—More women may prefer uterine preservation to hysterectomy for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse symptoms, according to research published in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Vulvar condition causing painful sex strikes twice as many Hispanic women

January 22, 2014
Hispanic women surveyed in the metro Detroit area were twice as likely as white women to be affected by vulvodynia, unexplained vulvar pain that can make sex, tampon use or even sitting excruciating. Meanwhile, the condition ...

Symptomatic uterine fibroids cause substantial morbidity

November 5, 2013
(HealthDay)—Symptomatic uterine leiomyomas (fibroids) have a substantial impact on quality of life, according to research published in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

UN: Rich countries advance women, poorest don't

February 13, 2014
Richer countries have made advances toward equality for women and provided greater access to sexual and reproductive health care over the past 20 years—but the poorest countries have made little progress, according to a ...

Rural primary care physicians offer insight into rural women's health care

February 5, 2014
Women living in rural communities are less likely than urban-dwelling women to receive sufficient mental health care, in large part due to limited access to services and societal stigma, according to medicine and public health ...

Women's pelvic pain often goes underreported, untreated

November 8, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Although many women experience pelvic pain in their late teens and early 20s, a new University of Florida Health study indicates that only a small fraction of these women report their symptoms to their ...

Recommended for you

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.