: a r
ork - formal and informal, paid and unpaid - plays
an important part in determining women's and men's
relative wealth, power and prestige. This generates
gender inequalities in the distribution of resources, benefits and
responsibilities. The workplace can be a setting where gender
inequalities are both manifested and sustained, with consequent
impacts on health.
Work affects women's and men's bodies and minds in many ways.
Workers can gain great satisfaction from their jobs, but they can also
be exposed to hazards that can affect their health. Toxic chemicals
may lead to cancer, reproductive problems, and even to death.
Repetitive movements and heavy loads can damage bones, joints,
muscles and nerves. Working in overly hot or cold temperatures can
affect the cardiovascular and reproductive systems, causing pain and
illness. Working under pressure with little power to change the work
environment can cause psychological and physical distress.
All over the world, women and men suffer discomfort, disease, injuries
and death from their work. In general, the problems associated with
men's work are better known, since men do visibly heavy and dangerous
work such as mining, cutting trees, fishing and building. More recently,
a number of risks have been identified in women's work, and this
publication presents some of these.