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Household Air Pollution Is A Gender Issue

As we look at how to achieve gender equality on International Women's Day, Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization, highlights one area in which lack of parity harms women's health.

I come from Italy, where people love to eat and share meals with family and friends. It is an aspect of my home culture that I cherish.

Cooking and enjoying food are universal activities. However, cooking for pleasure in a safe environment is, unfortunately, anything but universal.

Millions of women - and it is mostly women - cook on stoves or fires that fill the room with thick smoke from polluting fuels such as wood, dung and coal. This poses an enormous risk to health. Imagine yourself in a room where 400 cigarettes are being smoked every hour and you will get some idea of the exposure to harmful emissions.

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