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Paola Testori Coggi rappresentante di Women7 Al Multistakeholder event del G7 Salute


Lo scorso 18 aprile Paola Testori Coggi, Vice Presidente Leads, in qualità di rappresentante insieme a Claudia Segre, ha presentato le priorità del Women7 (W7), al Multistakeholder event del G7 Salute.


G7 Health Italia Multi-stakeholder event, 18 April 2024

 

Intervention by Paola Testori Coggi, Vice-President Women Leader in Health, Scientific Advisor Institute of International Affairs

 

 

I thank the Italian Presidency for this invitation and, as representative of the Women 7, I would like to give you some indications of the priorities that we see in relation to our demands for building an equal, just and peaceful future.

 

When we speak of life-long prevention and healthy ageing, we have to pay particular attention to the women health, because there are fundamental differences in the vital functions of men and women:

  • some diseases have different symptoms and frequency in women compared to men,

  • the response to pharmacological therapies is different

  • and in general the psycho-physical state of women is different. 

 

And today these differences are continuously documented by the scientific community.

 

While women live long lives, they also have significant disabilities due to chronic illnesses. So effective policies specifically tailored for the prevention of chronic diseases in women, as well as for the improvement of their diet and physical activity, are of crucial importance. 

Equity in health can be reached through an approach to prevention, diagnosis and treatment specifically adapted to women, and consequently more appropriate and effective. This will contribute also to the reduction of health inequalities in the whole society.

Furthermore, education and training of women in healthy lifestyles, and in particular in nutrition, contribute to the health promotion in the entire population as women are the main caregivers and perform the majority of household tasks.

Women can act as a true agent of change in lifestyle habits and consequently can contribute to prevention, not only through the organization of the family life, but also by promoting healthy behaviours in the social life and in the working environment.

 

When we speak of labour we have to recognize that there is no gender employment gap in the health sector, as women represent 70% of the workforce. However, according to data from the World Health Organization, only 25% of them occupy leadership positions. So we need to adopt specific policies that ensure equal access  to career opportunities for women and guarantee  a more balanced presence of women in middle and top management positions.   

In the health sector which is becoming increasingly complex due to aging, co-morbidities, new technologies and where we are continuously under pressure, (epidemics, daily emergencies) the need to include many more women leaders is not a concession, but it is a duty to be pursued for the benefit of the entire community, because a diverse and inclusive leadership is imperative for achieving an equitable and sustainable economy.  

Women 7 underlines that it is imperative to improve the labour market conditions in term of fair recruitment and promotion process, and encouragement of female leadership, in particular by

  • guaranteeing equity in education and training,

  • dedicated mentorship,

  • financial incentives

  • a balanced work life

  • and by overcoming every possible gender prejudice

 

This becomes even more important today, with the new landscape enabled by Artificial Intelligence and the spreading of the digital health. It must be ensured that:

  • existing and new AI tools are gender-sensitive and equitable and do not allow any bias or gender stereotypes and

  • women have equal access to digital competences

In fact, digital skills are an essential element for female empowerment; they contribute to improving women's living and working conditions, reducing gender inequalities and promoting women's participation in public and social life.

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