Female workers are subject to problems unknown to their male counterparts and which could, if preventive measures were taken, be greatly reduced. The problems include menstrual disorders which may reduce a woman's concentration and make her accident-prone, and which can be exacerbated by inadequate sanitary facilities geared to the specific needs of a woman during menstruation; prolapse of the uterus which seriously impairs a woman is working capacity and is exacerbated by the heavy postnatal physical work common to farmers and peasants; inflammatory disorders of the small pelvis which can result from tight fitting clothes or chemical pollution of the working environment; gynaecological tumours which may be caused by occupational carcinogenic substances; deformities of the pelvis and lumbar spinal column caused by extreme physical stress during pregnancy; neuro-endocrine disorders linked with the unique responsibilities of women - outside employment, household duties, and possibility motherhood as well; and the recent discoveries that video display units may cause pregnancy disorders and that work involved in creating microchips can lead to miscarriages.
Prevention of overstrain and damage to health of working women could be realized if adequate emphasis was given to socio-political considerations (labour protection laws, childcare provisions); working conditions (pre-employment medical examinations to determine job suitability, perhaps an adjusted work rhythm); and domestic considerations.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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