|Where Women Have No Doctor - A Health Guide for Women (Hesperian Foundation, 1997, 600 p.)|
|Chapter 10: Staying Healthy|
|Special Needs of Women|
Most women work very hard cooking, carrying water, and collecting fuel to help their families survive. If a woman also works outside her home, she has a double burden. She may work all day at a factory, in an office, or in the fields, and then return home to her second job - caring for her family. All this hard work can lead to exhaustion, malnutrition, and sickness, because she does not have enough time to rest or enough food to give her energy for her tasks.
¨ Work with your community to lower womens workload. Stoves that use less fuel and village water sources improve everyones lives.
To help reduce a womans workload, family members can share the burden of work at home. Cooking, cleaning, and gathering fuel and water with other women (together or in turns) can also help make a womans burden lighter. Whether she works for pay or not, she probably needs help caring for her children. Some women organize child care cooperatives, where one woman cares for young children so that others can work. Each woman pays something to the woman caring for the children or they each take a turn.
If a woman is pregnant, she needs even more rest. She can explain to her family why she needs rest, and ask them for extra help with her workload.
Most women get plenty of exercise doing their daily tasks. But if a woman does not move much while she works - for example, if she sits or stands all day in a factory or office - she should try to walk and stretch every day. This will help keep her heart, lungs, and bones strong.