GENDER TARGETED PREVENTION AND FEMALE AGRICULTURAL WORK IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: HINTS FOR DISCUSSION
Scant attention is generally paid in developing and emerging economies to the occupational health risk factors that women working in agriculture are exposed to. Women are an important labour force in agroenterprises, but the work in the lands, farms, greenhouses, etc., exposes them to several health risk factors and this brief review aims at identifying them to give hints for discussion. First of all, exposure to pesticides has been in different ways related to the development of several diseases that can be observed in women engaged in agriculture, for example in the case of specific respiratory problems, development of cancer and myocardial infarction. Most significantly, the exposure of women to pesticides may affect their reproductive health and this may imply risk of specific defects of the newborn (e.g., hypospadias and crypctorchidism), low birth weight, spontaneous abortion, as well as the risk of decline in fertility and delay in conception. Pesticides are generally necessary in the management of food productions but, for to balance of (health) risks and (food security) benefits, their use should be regulated properly. Moreover, pesticides exposure is a telling example of differences in gender susceptibility playing significantly in vulnerability to toxicants outcomes and, therefore, of the need of gender-targeted prevention….
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Short Review by Ramona Cipolla
Graduated in Industrial and environmental biotechnologies at the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy