If the gender health gap was eradicated immediately, the UK economy would stand to save at least £18 billion a year. That’s just one prediction from a new report that imagines a world free from gaps in women’s healthcare and from societal ignorance and misunderstanding.
A World Without The Gender Health Gap, created by intimate wellbeing brand INTIMINA in collaboration with Sarah Graham (author of Rebel Bodies), predicts how the country could look for women if the gender health gap didn’t exist – from health, sex and relationships to careers and the economy.
In addition to the benefits to the nation’s bottom line, the report also posits that women would no longer lose as many as 31 million working days per year because of the menopause and PMS (14 million working days and 17 million working days respectively). And these are just menstrual and reproductive matters. Were the gender-health gap to be removed across all aspects of women’s health then the benefits to women, society and the economy would be significantly larger.
Without the gender health gap, the career prospects of millions of women suffering from reproductive health conditions would improve, with more succeeding in the workplace and reaching higher levels of seniority. Employers would retain female employees for longer, rather than seeing almost 1 million drop out of the workforce due to unmanaged menopause symptoms. What’s more, efforts to tackle the gender health gap would also reduce the gender pay gap: just a 10% improvement in women’s health matters could raise average income by 2%.
According to INTIMINA’s report, if women’s reproductive conditions were treated with the same gravity as men’s, diagnosis times for conditions such as endometriosis would be reduced substantially. Debilitating symptoms would be rightly treated as abnormal and given the urgency they need: investigated after just one GP appointment rather than ten or more – putting an end to an average of eight years spent in pain chasing a diagnosis. Indeed, if the 1.5 million women with endometriosis wait an average of eight years to be diagnosed, that’s 12 million years collectively already lost chasing an answer.
Earlier diagnosis and more effective treatments would help reduce the mental toll of menstrual and reproductive health issues, and women would experience less depression, anxiety and feelings of isolation as a result.
Eradicating the gender health gap would also work to close the orgasm gap for good. Doctors would be better equipped to treat female sexual dysfunction, and women would be empowered to explore their own bodies, resulting in better sex for all.
There would even be less breakups, as reproductive health wouldn’t act as a barrier to healthy relationships. Instead, couples would be supported to understand and manage reproductive choices and health issues together. In fact, without a gender health gap, up to half of relationships that currently end as a result of menopause symptoms could be saved.
INTIMINA’s new report sets out the changes needed to close the gender health gap, from improved medical training and education in schools to additional research and funding.
The brand is now calling on healthcare providers, government bodies, educators, companies and brands to commit to an 8-point plan to close the gap by 2035, pledging to action points outlined in an open letter available to read HERE.
Sarah Graham, journalist and author, comments: “The gender health gap has far-reaching effects on every aspect of women’s lives, from sex and relationships to their mental health and careers. But beyond this, it impacts wider society and the economy.
INTIMINA’s report shows what life could be like if the gender health gap didn’t exist, and how this would impact not just women’s lives, but the lives of everyone.
The challenges are complex and deeply rooted, and the scale of catching up cannot be underestimated. We hope that through this report we can encourage everyone – from businesses and healthcare providers to governments and individuals – to take note of the change that needs to happen and take action in implementing it”.
The full A World Without the Gender Health Gap report can be read HERE. To find out more, visit www.intimina.com.