International Women’s Day: paying attention to Women’s Health

To celebrate International Women’s Day and raise public attention towards women’s health, The George Institute China co-hosted a morning tea with UN Women on 9 March. The morning tea was themed as ‘Marriage, women and health’. Professor Tan Xianjie from Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Ms. Shen Zijiao from Beijing Normal University, and Ms. Wang Qing from UN Women, were key spokespersons at the event speaking on women’s health and marital relations.

Firstly, Prof. Tan Xianjie provided an overview of our knowledge of cervical cancer and use of HPV vaccine in humorous terms. Studying with Academic Lang Jinghe, Prof. Tan outlined the diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant gynecological tumors, and referred to his composition, Affairs of Uterus, which he wrote to drive public attention on this important issue. He provided a thorough overview of cervical cancer and prevention and its causal relationship with HPV, before responding to questions from the public about the use of HPV vaccination.

Next, Ms. Shen Zijiao addressed the audience on marital relations and health. Dysfunctional family relationships can not only affect a person’s mental health, but they are also associated with diseases, such as hypertension and cardiopathy. A harmonious marriage requires efforts from both the husband and wife, not avoiding conflicts that deteriorate into quarrels and divorce. She offered some practical tips and skills, using concrete examples on how couples may be able to analyze their marriage, tackle various conflicts, and build a happy life together.

Finally, Ms. Wang Qing from UN Women, faciliated a discussion on violence and self-protection. Violence includes physical conflict, sexual violence, cold violence, and economic violence, which can pose severe stress on a marriage, family and children. Women, as the physically weaker sex, need to learn self-protection. Wang pointed out that violence was a vicious cycle and can be hard to stop. Therefore, those who suffer from violence should think about their life, and have a low threshold to seeking the support of the law, instead of simply tolerating and letting their lives be violated. 

“Quite a number of goals under the Sustainable Development Goals are related to women, and they are undoubtedly creating new opportunities for women,” Ms. Chen Huan, Program Head of Women & Children’s Health at The George Institute China said. “We hope the morning tea can begin to plant the seed, serving as a glue to bind social and physical women’s health."