Posted: March 10th, 2023
Social change is a process by which the values, norms, and behaviors of individuals within a society evolve over time in response to changes in culture and social circumstances. It can also be seen as an alteration of the environment or the way people interact with it. Social change has far-reaching implications for women’s health and well-being due to its ability to shape power relations between genders, influence access to resources and services, and transform cultural attitudes towards gender roles.
Women’s health refers broadly to physical, mental, emotional, sexual and reproductive well-being. Research shows that social factors can have both direct influences on women’s health outcomes — such as through access to healthcare — or indirect influences through shaping individual behaviors (Giles et al., 2018). For example, studies have found that increased female labor force participation resulting from economic growth is associated with improved self-reported measures of physical health for women (Das & Tzannatos 2020). Conversely, unequal access to certain resources among different sexes may lead to disparities in morbidity. In India for instance research suggests that limited household spending on females compared with males may contribute significantly higher risks of mortality among young girls (Sundararaman & Dey 2012).
Social change can also affect mental health outcomes for women; structural transformations such as shifts toward more gender equitable societies are linked with decreased depression symptoms among women relative to men in some contexts (Kd et al., 2019). These findings suggest that greater awareness around gendered power imbalances at the societal level can lead to positive psychological effects amongst those who had previously been deprived of equal opportunity. Similarly , when individuals experience greater autonomy over decision making regarding their own lives they often report better subjective wellbeing (Jia & van de Vijver 2011). This effect appears particularly prominent amongst vulnerable populations including low income communities where matriarchal households are common .
Furthermore , social change can create opportunities for greater involvement in public spheres by allowing more room for female representation in politics , policymaking , business , education etc . That being said , even when there exist legal frameworks protecting against discrimination based on sex – it is still often difficult for women attain positions traditionally held by men due political dynamics favouring male candidates or perceptions ascribing leadership abilities solely along masculine lines . As a result institutionalized sexism remains prevalent even amongst countries which boast relatively progressive policies related specifically gender equality . Therefore while strides have been made recently towards achieving parity across various domains – there still exists significant work left before full equity between genders is achieved globally(Pandey et al., 2020).
To conclude we see than any form of meaningful advancement towards improved quality of life will necessarily involve consideration not only of traditional medical treatments but also broader environmental aspects impacting population welfare such as those outlined above . Only through creating an inclusive space accommodating both sexes equally can we hope for true progress going forward .
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