WOMEN'S HEALTH ISSUES

In this issue of Footsteps, we look at a number of health issues concerning women, that are not often discussed openly. Though the issues are all directly to do with women’s health we trust they will also be of interest to our male readers, as these are all issues which men need to understand, care about and, in some cases, to act upon. Some, like female excision, raise important issues of social change in beliefs and custom.

Women are often regarded as second class citizens, taught to feel ashamed of their bodies and normal needs and functions. Yet in God’s eyes we are all of equal value and concern.  

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 24 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 24 click here (769K).


  • Bible study: Women at wells

    Women at wells. Every day hundreds of millions of women draw water from wells for their family’s needs. This water does not come easily. Some women pump water from bore wells, some draw water from ancient wells by hand and some in dry areas must dig their own wells in dry riverbeds and wait several hours for enough water to collect. This water is precious. It is life giving and life sustaining. The women who collect this water are the poorest of the poor. Oppressed, exploited, ...

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  • Editorial

    Women's health - the taboo subjects. In this issue of Footsteps, we look at a number of health issues concerning women, that are not often discussed openly. Though the issues are all directly to do with women’s health we trust they will also be of interest to our male readers, as these are all issues which men need to understand, care about and, in some cases, to act upon. Some, like female excision, raise important issues of social change in beliefs and custom.

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  • Excision - What should we think?

    What should we think? by Dr Halimatou Bourdanne. Excision is a common ritual practice in certain African countries, especially the Ivory Coast where I live. It is carried out by certain ethnic groups. It consists of removing a greater or lesser part of the lips (the fleshy folds of skin around the vagina) and clitoris of women and young girls. The clitoris corresponds to the man’s penis.

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  • Gelatine Tray Duplicator - A low-cost copying system

    Large projects usually have duplicating machines or photocopiers when written material such as letters, booklets or notes needs to be copied. But small projects often lack funds for a duplicator. They are unable to copy written materials to help

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  • Green Mango Chutney

    The hospital of St Francis, Katete, in Zambia’s Eastern Province, is well supplied with mango trees. This is typical of hundreds of other hospitals throughout tropical Africa, Asia and Latin America. What may not be so typical is the waste of mangoes at the beginning of the season. Small boys knock down unripe mangoes by throwing stones or sticks. A few are edible but most are bitten once and them thrown on the ground. A good solution for this waste (and a way of making money) is to use them ...

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  • Gully erosion

    After heavy rainfall, water will drain away. If soil conservation methods – such as barriers and plant cover – are not used, the rain water may carry soil with it. Small channels begin. As these grow, they are known as gullies.

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  • Harvesting fruit the easy way

    Harvesting fruit from tall trees can be a problem. Some people ask young children to climb the trees and harvest ripe fruit. If the children don’t have a basket, they throw the fruit to the ground. The children may fall and injure themselves as they try to reach out for the fruit. Other people throw stones or sticks at the ripe fruit. This can also be dangerous if people are hit – either by the fruit or the stone or stick. Some people shake the tree, especially if it is small, and sometimes ...

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  • Letters

    Experiments to control whitefly. We find that by growing tomatoes and sweet potatoes together, we obtain good control of whitefly. We have carried out experiments in two areas using different varieties of sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Tomato seeds are planted 3–4 weeks earlier in a nursery. The tomato plants and sweet potato cuttings are then planted in alternate rows. We have tried different spacings and different varieties – but each time the results have been very encouraging, giving ...

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  • Menstruation issues in Bangladesh

    by Allison Mathews. Menstruation is a natural event, affecting women and girls of reproductive age. For most women it occurs once a month. Each month the uterus produces a special lining, rich in blood, which will protect and feed the fertilised egg if the woman becomes pregnant. If the egg is not fertilised, this lining is no longer needed, and is discharged. A menstrual period marks the beginning of a new monthly cycle, and the formation of a new egg. A regular menstrual cycle indicates a ...

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  • Obstetric Fistula: an unknown tragedy

    by Dr Steven Arrowsmith. Recently, women's health issues have begun to receive long-deserved attention from the international community. However, one of the greatest tragedies facing women in the developing world today remains relatively unknown. It is well known that women in poorer countries in the world face an appalling risk of death during childbearing. However, for every woman who dies in labour, many more are injured.

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  • Resources

    Women’s Groups, NGOs and Safe Motherhood by Marge Berer Reference WHO/FHE/MSM/92.3 A description of the different ways in which health care for women can be improved at grass roots level. It is full of case studies, practical examples of the problems faced and action taken by NGO groups around the world. It contains useful address lists for groups working to promote women’s health and resources. It is available, free of charge, in English only, from:

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