Why Zika Is Especially Hard on the Women of Brazil

July 19, 2017

(NPR) – Did the Zika virus put a heavier burden on women than it did on men when the virus swept through Brazil? A new report by Human Rights Watch argues that the answer is yes. It started with the task of keeping mosquitoes at bay — a task that often fell to the women and girls in a family. And it continues today with women shouldering much of the care for babies born with congenital Zika syndrome, which includes microcephaly, a birth defect characterized by a smaller than normal head and brain damage. The government has not given women the support they need, says Margaret Wurth, a children’s rights researcher who worked on the study.

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