“Why is women's health so overlooked globally?”
“Why is women’s health so overlooked globally?”
by admin | March 13, 2023 | Aware | 2 comments

There is now a growing recognition globally that women and their health and well-being need special attention and care – more than they get. The contributions women make through their many roles are crucial. They give to society in several valuable ways – in the home, caring for the children, or at work.

In the developing world, certain factors could have contributed to women’s health being given less focus – like social and cultural norms, limited access to healthcare, poverty, or lack of education among underprivileged women.

In advanced countries, women may face other reasons for their health being overlooked – like gender-based biases, or inadequate awareness of available supports like healthcare insurance of health services.

According to Bertalan Meskó, MD, PhD, writing in LinkedIn, women’s health research has been historically underfunded and underrepresented. This may have resulted in the lack of sufficient knowledge and understanding about many health conditions that disproportionately affect women. Let’s look at how these deficits can be bridged.


First, why is research funding on women’s health so poor globally?

There are several reasons why research funding on women’s health has been inadequate:



However, the silver lining in the cloud has come from unexpected sources. The World Economic Forum states, “Awareness and recognition of the importance of women’s health – and preventative health at large – has continued to increase in the wake of the pandemic, offering us a more momentous opportunity than ever before to systemically address gender inequality in healthcare.”


10 ways the world can augment the attention given to women’s health issues

Setting vital global goals for equalizing emphasis between men’s and women’s health can help decrease the current gap in knowledge and action.


1. Acknowledge and address the unique health needs of women:

Women experience health concerns unique to their gender, especially in reproductive health, maternal health, menopause, and gender-based ailments. Increasingly heart care has also become an area requiring more concentration. According to Mariana Garcia et al., in their medical paper in the American Heart Association (AHA) Journals, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, accounting for 1 of every 3 female deaths. Globally the statistics are not too different.

Some women could have hereditary or lifestyle conditions that foster chronic illnesses such as obesity, cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension. When these ailments combine, they can all have a multiplicative effect on the heart.

Special initiatives are required in all corners of the globe to detect early signs of diabetes, control primary hypertension, reduce cholesterol levels, and counsel women on the bad effects of obesity.


2. Provide access to varied types of health services:

There must be more investment in healthcare infrastructure to ensure that women have access to a wide range of healthcare services (including primary care, reproductive healthcare, mental health services, and specialty care).

Women should be given the opportunity to choose their healthcare plans and health services for themselves and their children.



“Provide access to varied types of health services.”



3. Increase awareness of women’s health issues:

Education on women’s health matters should be integrated into school curriculums so that girls and young women can learn about their bodies and the health problems that may affect them.

Public awareness campaigns should also be launched to raise awareness about women’s health and encourage women to take an active role in their own healthcare. Media outlets should be encouraged to cover women’s health more extensively.


4. Invest in research on women’s health:

Research is necessary to understand women’s unique health needs better and develop effective interventions. Healthcare providers should be incentivized to incorporate research findings into their clinical practice. According to the Orlando Clinical Research Center, “In addition to conducting continued research on women’s health, it’s just as important that the results of the search are clear and readily available to women and their healthcare professionals in order to allow for informed decisions.”

Public-private partnerships, supported by advocacy groups and organizations, can be established to support research on women’s health and promote the translation of research findings into practice.


5. Involve women in decision-making processes:

Policymakers and healthcare organizations could involve women in designing and implementing health programs and policies that affect them.

Additionally, women should be encouraged to take an active role in advocacy for their needs and preferences. The points important to women will only get taken seriously if women themselves make the world aware of what impacts them the most.



“Involve women in decision-making processes.”



6. Improve health education for women:

Women in many parts of the world lack access to primary healthcare knowledge. Improving their health education, and encouraging them to seek timely and proactive medicare, will be essential. Digital health platforms and mobile applications can now provide women with accessible and convenient health information and resources.

Separately, healthcare providers should receive training on how to provide gender-sensitive care and address the unique health needs of women to realize improved health outcomes. According to Deborah S Kwolek, MD, writing in her medical paper in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, “… we were unaware that a glaring deficit existed in our curricula. Internal medicine was taught, for the most part, in a unisex fashion.”


7. Address the social determinants of health:

Social determinants of women’s health include access to education and employment opportunities, income and wealth, housing and living conditions, social support networks, and exposure to discrimination.

Research should aim to understand better the social impact on health for women in different geographies – and identify effective strategies for addressing them.


8. Support women’s empowerment:

One way to improve women’s empowerment on health topics is to provide patient-centered care that empowers women to make informed health decisions and participate in their own care. This includes respecting their autonomy and choices.

Women’s health advocacy and community-based organizations should also have many women medicos on their panels. They should be encouraged and supported to speak for women patients’ health needs.


9. Provide culturally sensitive care:

Women’s health requires healthcare providers to understand and respect their patients’ diverse beliefs, values, and practices. Healthcare providers should receive training on cultural competency, including identifying and addressing biases and communicating effectively with patients from differing backgrounds.

Healthcare providers should also be able to refer patients to culturally sensitive services, such as interpreters or specific health education materials, and create a welcoming and inclusive environment that respects patients’ backgrounds and identities.


10. Foster global partnerships:

Fostering global partnerships in women’s health requires collaboration between stakeholders, including governments, non-governmental organizations, healthcare providers, and community-based organizations from different countries.

Such partnerships should ideally aim to build capacity and strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries so that the north-south divide in medicare between the advanced and developing countries gradually decreases.


In summary

While various women’s health challenges have been getting less than their fair share of global awareness, heart care for women is now demanding more specific and urgent attention. It has got to be among the top priorities for women’s health research. Every woman, too, needs to heed this with adequate self-care and help-seeking. Stay heart-healthy. Be a Zinda Dil.




  1. Meskó, Bertalan, MD, PhD. LinkedIn. “Underfunding Research Of Female Health Leaves Huge Amounts Of Money On The Table.” Accessed: March 8, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/underfunding-research-female-health-leaves-huge-money-mesk%C3%B3-md-phd/
  2. Merone, Lea, et al. Women’s Health Reports. “Sex Inequalities in Medical Research: A Systematic Scoping Review of the Literature.” Accessed: March 8, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8812498/
  3. Liu, Katherine A, et al. Pharmacy Practice. “Women’s involvement in clinical trials: historical perspective and future implications.” Accessed: March 8, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4800017/
  4. World Economic Forum. “Women’s health: Why is the health of at least half the global population so often overlooked?” Accessed: March 8, 2023. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/01/women-health-gap-davos-2023/
  5. Garcia, Mariana, et al. American Heart Association (AHA) Journals. “Cardiovascular Disease in Women.” Accessed: March 8, 2023. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/circresaha.116.307547
  6. Orlando Clinical Research Center. “Understanding the Importance of Women’s Health Research.” Accessed: March 8, 2023. https://ocrc.net/understanding-the-importance-of-womens-health-research/
  7. Kwolek, Deborah S, MD. Journal of General Internal Medicine. “Women’s Health Education.” Accessed: March 8, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1494879/


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