Women’s Equality and Diversity in Medicine

Women’s Equality Day is an annual celebration on August 26th that celebrates the achievements of women’s rights activists and reminds us of the unique struggles women face daily. Safer, more effective ways to treat conditions predominate in women is an ongoing battle in healthcare and clinical research studies. Without the understanding and complete acceptance of women’s equality, improving diversity in medicine will remain a challenge.

Why We Need Women in Clinical Trials

Today, most treatments are prescribed to women and men at the same dose. Many were approved by the FDA before 1993 when there was a ban excluding women from participating in research studies. While there are increased numbers of women participating in trials, more work needs to be done.

Men and women differ in the way they process medications. In women, this process can be affected by several factors such as higher body fat composition, lower body weight, slower kidney function, etc. Women may also respond to certain medications differently as well. Sex hormones, which can fluctuate due to menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and oral contraceptives, are some of the factors that influence response.

Other factors include the environmental differences and disparities in the practice of medicine not only between men and women but in women from different ethnic groups and backgrounds.

Underrepresentation of women in clinical trials puts them at greater risk of adverse side effects, and ineffective treatment. By involving women of various ages, body types, and ethnic groups through the entire trial phase process, we can better understand how the treatment works in a population. From there, safer, more effective treatment plans can be designed for women too.

Use Women’s Equality Day to Help Advance Medicine

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of women’s suffrage in the U.S. It reminds us of the hurdles overcome by the heroic women who faced violence and discrimination to propel women’s rights forward. Congress designated August 26th as Women’s Equality Day in 1971 to remind us of the past, present, and future struggles.

Women fighting for equal right continues. Despite many advances over the last century, women in the U.S. and worldwide still face barriers to their well-being and success. This Women’s Equality Day, get involved by:

  • Registering to vote
  • Supporting women-owned businesses
  • Thanking the women in your life
  • Signing the petition to lobby for the elevation of August 26th to a national holiday

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Clinical research studies play a vital role in advancing options to women’s health care. Thanks to past, present, and future study volunteers, you help future generations access safer, more effective options for conditions prevalent in women. To learn more about our enrolling studies here at Seattle Clinical Research Center, call (206) 522-3330 ext. 2 or visit our website today!