Even with advances in medicine, women still face many health problems. From cancer to maternal health, there are health challenges for women.


Two of the most common cancers affecting women are cervical cancer and breast cancer. Early detection is key to health and survival. About 500,000 women die from cervical cancer and breast cancer each year. Most of these deaths occur in low income countries where regular screening, effective prevention and good treatment are hard to find.

Maternal Health

Most women now benefit from improvements in care during pregnancy and childbirth. Still, about 300,000 women died from complications during pregnancy and childbirth in 2013. Many of these deaths could’ve been prevented with some access to family planning and basic services.


Thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, it’s young females who bear the brunt of new HIV infections. Many young women still struggle to protect themselves against the sexual transmission of HIV. In addition, this leaves them at risk to tuberculosis.

Mental Health

Women are more prone to some mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Depression is the most common mental health problem with suicide the leading cause for women under 60 years of age. Researchers still look for evidence to explain these types of mental health problems medically, but lack of funding makes looking for a root cause slow.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia continue to plague the female population. Untreated syphilis causes more than 200,000 stillbirths and early fetal deaths every year. It is also responsible for more than the deaths of 90,000 newborns.

In many countries, “women’s empowerment” still is a pipe dream. Too many women don’t have the opportunity to get health services when they need them.