Today is National Physicians Day and the best way to celebrate is by supporting women’s health and our health rights. Did you know the gender gap extends into medical research? Throughout history, clinical trials excluded women and generalized the results to be the same for women. Some researchers even judged women based on how they looked.
From laws to education to financial support, there are many ways women need help finding the care they need. Many are simple and easy. Here are some ideas to get you started!
Read up on federal and state laws regarding women’s health. There are laws on maternity leave, breastfeeding support, disability, etc. Know what you’re entitled to and fight if you are not receiving it at your place of work. Many women are still underpaid due to their gender or even if they are pregnant.
Also, learn more about women’s health issues. There are thousands of women’s health issues including breast cancer, maternity morbidity, and mortality, HPV, human trafficking, etc. As mothers, it is our job to ensure our children understand their bodies and the diseases/infections they need to be protected against. The more we educate ourselves, the healthier our children can be in the future.
Some resources you can use to learn more about women’s health issues include:
Share what you know
After learning about laws and issues around women’s health, it’s time to share what you know with your community. If you have friends who are new mothers, send them a list of maternity laws they should make sure their employer is following. If you live in a neighborhood with poor education systems, teach your kids and their friends about menstruation and birth control options.
Sharing resources and knowledge can help another woman’s life massively. However, if the information you share is false, it can hurt them just as equally. Ensure that you are learning/sharing from reputable sources that were peer-reviewed. Especially if it’s an image from Facebook, check where it came from and if the information is correct before sharing. One way to check if it is reputable is by looking for a Health on the Net (HON) certification on the website. HON is a non-profit organization that awards others for their transparent and reliable health information online.
For an example of a reputable source with a HON certificate click here.
Many nonprofits and organizations fight for legislation to be changed. They will have online/in-person events you can attend or host, newsletters, infographics to share, petitions you can sign, and other simple tasks that you can do from the comfort of your home. Below are some websites with lists of campaigns you can support:
Volunteering is a free and direct way of supporting local women’s health. Any issue you can think of probably has an organization working towards it. Research local organizations near you to find in-person opportunities or sign up with national organizations for more long-term volunteer positions.
You can also bring your children with you and make it a family day of service. It instills in them a desire to give back to their community and shows how they can make an impact no matter how young.
If you do not have the time to volunteer, the other easy option to support women’s health is to donate. There are plenty of charities, fundraisers, nonprofits, and more that need financial support to continue doing the work. Even if it is only a few dollars, every penny adds to their budget and increases how much they can do.
Every woman needs a community of support for her health. IAW member Dana Piscopo, or “Miss Moxie,” is a sobriety and recovery coach and the owner of Color Your Life LLC. “There are so many avenues people can go to to get help these days and don’t get bogged down in the stigma and shame,” said Dana. Connect with her in the IAW community or listen to the advice she shared on IAW’s podcast Unlimited HERizons.