The relative lack of information on determinants of disease, disability, and death at major stages of a woman's lifespan and the excess morbidity and premature mortality that this engenders has important adverse social and economic ramifications, not only for Sub-Saharan Africa, but also for other regions of the world as well. Women bear much of the weight of world production in both traditional and modern industries. In Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, women contribute approximately 60 to 80 percent of agricultural labor. Worldwide, it is estimated that women are the sole supporters in 18 to 30 percent of all families, and that their financial contribution in the remainder of families is substantial and often crucial.
This book provides a solid documentary base that can be used to develop an agenda to guide research and health policy formulation on female health--both for Sub-Saharan Africa and for other regions of the developing world. This book could also help facilitate ongoing, collaboration between African researchers on women's health and their U.S. colleagues. Chapters cover such topics as demographics, nutritional status, obstetric morbidity and mortality, mental health problems, and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.