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Gender is an aspect of life that follows us in everything we do. (WHO) What can we do then? 1. Educate ourselves 2. Educate other medical students about gender issues related to health like: • Rape • Contraception • Right to your own sexuality • Domestic violence • Circumcision 3. Make statements and increase the consciousness in society Gender values are not the same in different times or places. Therefore actions on this issue have to be suited for each countries needs.

two types of human papilloma virus (HPV), which is transmitted sexually, is strongly associated with cervical and vulvar cancer and is the primary risk factor. Regular screening with a Pap smear effectively lowers the risk for developing invasive cervical cancer by detecting precancerous changes in cervical cells. Women who do not receive regular Pap smears have a higher risk for the condition.

But remember-it is possible to make a change! • www.who.int/gender/en/ (gender department of the World Health Organization) • www.un.org/womenwatch (United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women) • www.unesco.org/women (UNESCO priority women, gender equality)

Maternal and child health

International Women’s Day – March 8th

International Women’s Day is a traditional international day that focuses on raising awareness about problems related to girls and women all across the globe. In this part of the Manual, you will have the possibility to explore the history and specific themes related to this event, as well as to get few pointers on International Women’s Day in the IFMSA. International Women’s Day (March 8th) aims at honoring the achievements of women and promoting women’s rights. Recognized as a national holiday in numerous countries, it has been sponsored by the United Nations (UN) since 1975 under the name of United Nations’ Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. One of the major focuses of the Standing Committee on Reproductive Health including AIDS (SCORA) is the empowerment of youth and woman to take initiative when it comes to reproductive health and rights. The Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace (SCORP) also focuses on the empowerment and education of the youth in human rights and peace related issues, with focus on women and their rights. It is of great importance to give women’s rights the momentum that is required due to the delicate existence of human nature. An attempt to truly address issues that have roots in social gender inequality and inequity, as well as special physical and pathological processes that affect girls and women should be addressed by a pallet of activities through joined efforts of medical students worldwide

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer develops in the lining of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus (womb) that enters the vagina (birth canal). This condition usually develops over time. Normal cervical cells may gradually undergo changes to become precancerous and then cancerous. Most (80-90%) invasive cervical cancer develops in flat, scaly surface cells that line the cervix (called squamous cell carcinomas). Approximately 10-15% of cases develop in glandular surface cells (called adenocarcinomas). Cancer of the cervix is the second most common cancer in women worldwide and is a leading cause of cancer-related death in women in underdeveloped countries. Worldwide, approximately 500,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year. Infection with

Mr & Ms Breastestis is a SCORA transnational project which is working on promotion of reproductive neoplasms prevention. A couple of useful Internet links: • www.reproline.jhu.edu/english/3cc/3cc.htm • www.rho.org/html/cxca.htm • www.msnbc.com/news/837786.asp

The prevalence of maternal and child deaths is high. Most of them occur in developing countries. Every year, about half a million women worldwide die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, mainly from severe bleeding, infections, unsafe abortions, hypertension, and obstructed labour. Most of these deaths could be prevented at a low cost. Awareness by both women and family members of the risks of pregnancy, labour, and delivery, and accessible and quality health care and services can prevent and diminish the consequences of the pregnancy related complications when they occur. 12 million children die every year before the age of five. Most of them are killed either by one or a combination of the following five conditions: malnutrition, pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles and malaria. Poverty, malnutrition, a decline in breast-feeding, inadequacy or lack of sanitation and of health care facilities, unwanted births, child neglect and abuse, and vertical transmission of HIV infection before or during childbirth and breastfeeding, all contribute to the increasing child mortality and morbidity. To reduce mortality and morbidity, we should think about women’s and children’s rights too. Yet that child, like any adult, was born endowed with fundamental human rights – right to life, to good health, to protection, to education, to an adequate standard of living and more.

Female Genital Mutilation

Definition FGM involves extensive cutting or removal of parts of the female genitalia for social rather than medical reasons. It is usually performed with unsterilized and crude instruments and without anesthesia. WHO Classification: Type I- Clitoridectomy = excision of the clitoral hood with or without removal of the clitoris Type II- Excision = Removal of the clitoris together with part or all of the labia minora Type III- Infibulation = Removal of part or all of the external genitalia and stitching/narrowing of the vaginal opening, leaving a small hole for urine and menstrual flow Type IV- Unclassified = All other operations on the female genitalia. Epidemiology FGM is performed on infants, children, adolescents, single, married, pregnant and post-partum women. It is practiced by many communities around the world- most commonly in Africa and Asia. The highest prevalence occurs in 28 African countries, where it ranges from 43% in Cote d’Ivoire to 97% in Egypt. Why is FGM performed? The practice is used for a variety of reasons which include but are not limited to the following:

SCORA for Newcomers  
SCORA for Newcomers  

The newcomers booklet for the IFMSA Standing Committee on Reproductive Health incl. AIDS.

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