Research the specific issues that affect women’s health and use this evidence to develop services to both improve their health and prevent ill health
We know that women live longer lives, and the perception seems to be that women are healthier precisely because they live longer. However, research shows that women live the duration of their lives in considerably worse health than men.
There are a variety of social factors that contribute to women’s poor health. These include:
– low income and higher likelihood of living in poverty
– physical and sexual violence
– care responsibilities for children and the elderly
As a result, women are at a higher risk of:
– depression and anxiety
– dying from diabetes
– stress related high blood pressure
– eating disorders and self-harm
– HIV and AIDS
– And women are more at risk of stroke and chronic diseases including arthritis and rheumatism
What Women’s Charities do to address this issue
Specialist services are run by women’s organisations, offering a range of services from support with mental health issues, to reproductive rights support, to therapeutic, counselling and alternative therapies. Support is also provided for women with particular needs, for example deaf women’s associations
The Women’s Health and Equality Consortium is a strategic partner of the Department of Health. It comprises: Positively UK, Maternity Action, FORWARD UK, Rape Crisis England and Wales, Imkaan, and the Women’s Resource Centre. Together these organisations do crucial work to influence policy to make sure that the specific needs of women and girls are met.
What can Parliament do?
- Ensure proper investment in prevention
- Tackle the health inequalities that women and girls face with a national framework
- Ensure that the evidence used to develop health policy is grounded in the specific experiences of women and girls