PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release
European Institute of Women’s Health’s – EU Parliament Manifesto for Womens Health
The European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) is delighted to announce the launch of its “EU Manifesto for Women’s Health,” which will be hosted by MEP Deirdre Clune on the 10th of October in the European Parliament
In the run-up to the 2019 European Parliament elections, the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) will officially launch its EU Manifesto for Women’s Health in the European Parliament on the 10th of October.
The event will be hosted by Ms. Deirdre Clune. Speakers include Members of European Parliament, representatives from the European Commission, World Health Organization and other key health stakeholders. The event will mark the beginning of the EIWH’s campaign Healthy Women—Healthy Europe, which will profile that Europe can do more to prioritise women’s health in order thereby improving the health of all.
The promotion of sex and gender equity has been a long-standing theme in the philosophy and operations of the EU.i In line with Articles 160 and 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the EIWH calls on the EU to commit to the reduction of health inequalities and provide equitable health for all.
Biological and social influences (sex and gender) are critical to health. Women face higher rates of diseases, such as in breast cancer, osteoporosis and auto-immune diseases than do men. Other diseases affect men and women differently, including diabetes, depression and cardiovascular disease.
Women do not present the same for conditions and respond differently to treatment than do men.ii,iii,iv,v Strategies must account for these differences.
Many factors outside of the health sector—such as socioeconomic status, education, culture and ethnicity—affect behaviour and resource access. For example, women in Europe have lower paid, often less secure and informal occupations than do men.
They earn 16% less than men and get pensions that are 40% lower than men.vi
Lack of resources or decision making power, unfair work divisions and violence against women all impact health. These social determinants have large repercussions for health and access to healthcare.
In Europe, women outlive men by on average more than five years, but their healthy life expectancy advantage is less than nine months.vii Sex and gender have important implications for healthcare (health service delivery) and health systems (policies and organisation).
Due to women’s reproductive role, their health affects the health of their unborn child and that of future generations. Women also play a vital role as healthcare professionals, caregivers, patients, mothers, daughters and friends, particularly in an ageing Europe. Healthcare and health systems should be highly responsive to women, but too often fail them.
Reducing health inequities is not only the right thing to do, but is also economically prudent. By 2050, the GDP in the EU would increase by 6-10% or €2-3 trillion if gender equality is improved. Gender policies have been shown to have a stronger impact on GDP growth than labour market and education policies.viii Health inequalities result in an economic loss of about €980 billion per year in the EU.ix
For example, women are systematically underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) throughout Europe, averaging at 17%. Closing this gender gap in STEM by 2050 would increase GDP by an estimated €610 to €820 billion while increasing female labour participation and improving health through diversity.x,xi
Women’s equity and women’s health are being prioritised internationally. The EIWH commends the Argentine presidency of the G20 in designating gender issues aa transversal theme for 2018 and encourages other stakeholders to follow suit. The EIWH also applauds the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency’s calls for the implementation of the recommendations of its report, Make Gender Inequality History, to help eliminate inequities and empower women.xii
Europe can and should also enact recommendations from The Charlevoix G7 Summit Communiqué to support the advancement of women and children’s health and rights. Europe must do more to follow suit and make women’s health and the reduction of gender equities a central focus today.
“The EIWH calls on the European Union to translate sex and gender differences into regulatory and healthcare practice now. Sex and gender must be systematically integrated into research, including requiring data disaggregation by sex, gender and age. Women’s health should be included in all policies that affect health, including socioeconomic influences.
Europe must invest in a life-course approach to health promotion and disease prevention at critical points from pre-conception to childhood through older age. Together we must ensure equity of opportunities for women and men in all policies to foster a Healthy Europe,” said Ms. Peggy Maguire, Director General of the European Institute of Women’s Health.
The EU Manifesto for Women’s Health highlights some central issues in women’s health and calls on the Europe to do more now. European stakeholders must work together to enact, enforce, support, protect, partner, share and research. Only through concerted, tangible, concrete and swift action can women’s health be improved across the EU.
“As a Member of the European Parliament, I am committed to gender equity and high-quality access to treatment and care. I would encourage all my colleagues both male and female to promote this manifesto during the European Elections next year,”
said Ms. Deirdre Clune, MEP from Ireland.
The EIWH’s EU Manifesto for Women’s Health and supporting documents will be available online from the 10th of October. All in Europe are invited to sign on and call on their representatives to reduce health inequities.
To sign the Manifesto, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit our website (https://www.eurohealth.ie) and follow-up on Twitter (#EIWH) for more updates on the Manifesto and our campaign Healthy Women— Healthy Europe.
Only through concerted action together can we reduce inequities and improve women’s health across Europe.
Join the dialogue and prioritise women’s health in the EU:
For more information, please visit:
• European Institute of Women’s Health website: https://eurohealth.ie/
• Office of Deirdre Clune, MEP’s website: http://deirdreclune.ie.
About the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) Founded in 1996, the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that uses an evidence-based to advocate for an equitable, sex and gender sensitive approach in health policy, research, promotion, treatment and care. The Institute promotes biomedical and socio-economic research that addresses sex and genderbased differences to ensure access to quality treatment and care for women across their lifespan. The EIWH strives to reduce inequities by drawing policymaker’s attention to the obstacles that women in minority, migrant, refugee and socio-economic disadvantaged groups face. The Institute’s activities work to empower individuals to play an active part in their own health management.
European Institute of Women’s Health, CLG
33 Pearse Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
Register Charity Number 20035167
CHY Number 12184
Director General: Peggy Maguire
Members of the Board:
M. Cusack • B. Dowling • S. Hewson • J. Janczukowicz • M. Rovira • K. Ritchie • H. Sundseth
Support dcumentation for our EU Manifesto is available at the following:
i European Institute of Women’s Health. 2000. Gender Equity in Public Health in Europe. https://eurohealth.ie/reports/ [Accessed 12 September 2018].
ii European Institute of Women’s Health. 2018. European Action Plan for Women’s Health. https://eurohealth.ie/action-plan-2108/ [Accessed 23 May 2018].
iii ENGENDER Project. 2011. Gendered Exposures and Vulnerabilities. https://eurohealth.ie/gender-exposures-and-vulnerabilities/ [Accessed 23 May 2018].
iv European Institute of Women’s Health. 2006. Women’s Health in Europe: Facts and Figures. [Accessed 22 May 2018].
v European Institute of Women’s Health. Policy Briefs. https://eurohealth.ie/policy_briefs/ [Accessed 23 May 2018].
vi European Parliament. 2017. The 40% gender pension gap: how Parliament wants to narrow it (interview). [Accessed 23 May 2018].
vii Eurostat. 2017. Healthy life years statistics. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Healthy_life_years_statistics [Accessed 22 May 2018].
viii European Institute for Gender Equality. 2017. Economic case for gender equality in the EU. https://eige.europa.eu/gender-mainstreaming/policy-areas/economic-and-financialaffairs/economic-benefits-gender-equality [Accessed 30 August 2018].
ix EuroHealthNet. 2015. What do EU Member States need from the EU health policy? https://eurohealthnet.eu/sites/eurohealthnet.eu/files/2015_04_17_Letter%20for%20informal%20EPSCO%20Council_final.pdf [Accessed 1 September 2018].
x WISE (Women into Science and Engineering). 2012. Engaging girls in science, technology, engineering and maths: What works? [Accessed 23 May 2018].
xi European Institute for Gender Equality. 2018. How gender equality in STEM education leads to economic growth? [Accessed 23 May 2018]. .
xii G7. 2018. Making Gender Inequality History. [Accessed 18 September 2018].