Industry Facts

Five facts about women’s health

1. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists its six priorities for women and health as:
  • ‘Address gender inequality in the COVID-19 response and recovery;
  • Elevate the position of women in the health and care workforce;
  • Prevent and respond to violence against women;
  • Ensure quality sexual and reproductive health for all;
  • Reduce noncommunicable diseases among women;
  • Increase women’s participation and leadership in science and public health’.1
2. There are various sociocultural factors that impact women’s access to health services and the best quality of health, which include:
  • ‘Unequal power relationships between men and women;
  • Social norms that decrease education and paid employment opportunities;
  • An exclusive focus on women’s reproductive roles;
  • Potential or actual experience of physical, sexual and emotional violence’.2
3. On average, women spend 25% more of their lives in debilitating health than men, with the women’s health gap referring to a persistent data gap where women are underdiagnosed for some conditions compared to men.3
4. A 2019 study based in Denmark demonstrated that, among seven million participants, women were diagnosed with hundreds of health conditions an average of four years later than men.3 Women were also diagnosed with diabetes four-and-a-half years later, and cancer two-and-a-half -years later.3
5. In 2020, only 1% of healthcare research and innovation was invested directly in female-specific conditions, excluding oncology, however investment in women’s health and closing the women’s health gap could improve the global economy by $1trn by 2040.3