This blog post is co-authored with: Sheila Dutta
The 2012 World Development Report (WDR) “Gender Equality and Development” found that, while many disadvantages faced by women and girls have shrunk thanks to development, major gaps remain.
A significant gap is the excess female mortality in many low- and middle income countries, especially in childhood and during reproductive years. Cervical cancer —a preventable condition that usually results from a viral infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV) that is generally sexually transmitted— is one of the leading causes of premature death and ill health among women in sub-Saharan Africa. As the figure shows, the Eastern, Western and Southern African regions have the highest incidence rates of cervical cancer in the world. Rates exceed 50 per 100,000 populations and age-standardized mortality exceeds 40 per 100,000 populations.