Science and healthcare have a history of overlooking women’s needs; for decades, their voices and stories were pushed aside, building a system that is now simply not built to address and tackle women’s health issues. It’s time the world heard from women.
Don’t know where to start? Read the stories below for some inspiration.
I always had painful periods. I dreaded them every month. When I was young, all my doctors always said it was normal, some women had stronger cramps than others. It wasn’t until I was in university and started discussing with friends that I realised it was not normal. I went to see a gynaecologist who specialises in these issues and was diagnosed with endometriosis. I had never heard of it. My life changed after that.
When I was young my grand-mother had a heart attack. My father immediately took her to the hospital. He told her she had been very lucky to survive. She had started feeling symptoms weeks before but had always pushed back going to the doctor. The symptoms for her were different than the ones we normally hear about. We learned much later that it was because symptoms for women are not the same as those for men. If she had known, she would have gone sooner.
I grew up and now live surrounded by science and healthcare. I’ve worked in healthcare for most of my life. My mother is a doctor and my sister is a nurse. We’re all passionate about making people’s lives healthier and better. But all three of us have always agreed on one thing: women are significantly underrepresented in healthcare. My mother’s bosses were most often men, so were mine and my sister’s. It created, and still does to this day, a wide gap between the way we – women – perceive health and the way men do.
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From January to March 2023, we will be collecting stories from women all over the world. We will publish all stories that adhere to our community policy and feature them on our website, where a selection of stories will also be illustrated by female artists as a way to bring stories to life.
We’ve embarked on an ambitious journey to help drive change and build a more equitable healthcare system for women. Join us on this journey towards change. Share your story with us.