Improved access to healthcare can empower women

Improving healthcare provision across the world could help to empower women, experts have suggested.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), boosting access to treatment can have a number of social and economic advantages.

For instance, it argued that fewer people would experience severe financial difficulties if they are able to get the care they require.

WHO said this would in turn help to fuel greater social cohesion, enhance economic development and make more education opportunities available to people in different countries.

The group also stated that women in particular would enjoy more power and influence as a result.

Estimates from WHO suggest about 150 million people across the globe get into major financial difficulties because of illness and subsequently having to pay for treatment.

The body said ensuring "universal health coverage" is available can protect people from "catastrophic expenditure" and help to "reduce poverty and build resilient societies".

This could also boost the survival rates of people with conditions such as HIV/Aids and cancer.