Dear readers and health advocates,
We are excited to launch our new special report focusing on closing the gender health gap.
Why focus on gender? The simple fact is that wherever you may be in the world it still remains far easier for a man than a woman to access healthcare, have your health concerns taken seriously and well researched, be less impacted by stigma and taboo in the pursuit of better health, and even be offered a senior position within a global health organisation.
The gender health gap is universal. There is a huge disparity in the allocation of funding and other resources for the research and treatment of healthcare concerns that are unique to women. Insufficient focus and funding leads to a scarcity of clinical research and data on women’s health issues. Until the late 1980s, women were largely excluded from clinical trials.
In higher-income countries, women typically spend more of their life in poor health despite living longer than men in general. For women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the gender health gap can impede access to education, financial security and independence.
In this special report, we shine a spotlight on ‘medical gaslighting’, where healthcare workers downplay women’s concerns or symptoms, or attribute them to something else, and explore how greater awareness and a humane approach can help reverse this.
Given the femtech boom in the global north, we look at the potential of technology-driven women’s health products in improving outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa.
With women comprising 70% of the healthcare workforce and yet holding just one-quarter of the most influential leadership positions across the sector, we examine what can be done to get more women into health leadership positions globally.
Our special report will also probe the economic and social disadvantages of migrant domestic workers and the impact on their ability to access healthcare during pregnancy; the potential for menstrual leave to level the playing field at work for women; and the impact of climate change on women’s health outcomes.
Let’s continue to work together to close the gender health gap and improve the lives of all women.