By: Nathaniel Tok, Peak Associate

Embarrassment causes young women to miss smear tests

A survey done by the British charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust suggests that young women avoid smear tests because they are reportedly embarrassed by their pubic areas. Smear tests can help prevent 75% of cervical cancers which is the most common form of cancer for women under the age of 35. A third of 2,017 responders said that they had delayed their test due to body image issues and “embarrassment” over the appearance of smell of the pubic regions. A third of respondents also admitted they would not attend a smear test if their bikini area was not groomed. Up to one in four women do not attend smear tests in the UK.

With files from BBC News.

 

Quebec university under fire for HIV and menstruation job application questions

Université Laval is being criticized for their job application questionnaire that asks candidates whether they have been tested for HIV and the date they last menstruated. Other questions included asking when applicants last had a gynecology exam and whether they had ever been pregnant or if they had ever had an abortion. The university reports that the questions were used to see if candidates needed workplace accommodation. The university also stated that no applicant was disqualified based on their answers and no complaints were received. The university stopped using the questionnaire, in use since 2009, after local news started questioning the practice.

With files from Global News.

 

Japanese government being sued over forced sterilization

A Japanese woman who was forced to undergo sterilization in 1972 is suing her government for violation of human rights. She was one of 25,000 people who were sterilized under a law in place from 1948 to 1996. Under the now-defunct law, people were sterilized due to mental illness or having conditions such as leprosy. Approximately 16,500 of these procedures occurred without consent of the patient. The woman decided to sue the government for $101,000 upon learning she was sterilized after developing mental problems from having surgery as a baby. Similar eugenics laws were enacted by the governments of Germany and Sweden, who have now issued apologies and monetary compensation to victims.

With files from BBC News.

 

Ghana schoolgirls forbidden to cross river while menstruating

Ghana girls are not allowed to cross a river while menstruating and on Tuesdays due to a ban issued by a local river god. As the girls must cross this river to get to their school, this ban has enraged children’s activists, social workers, and teachers since it is hindering the girls’ education. The social outcry has propelled the Government of Ghana to investigate the issue further. Up to 30% of classes in a school year are missed by girls from this Central Region of Ghana due to this reason. Sub-Saharan Africa has a history of having difficulties keeping girls in school during their periods.

With files from BBC News.