Intended for healthcare professionals


Ending the neglect of women’s health in research

BMJ 2023; 381 doi: (Published 12 June 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;381:p1303
  1. Liisa AM Galea, Treliving family chair in women’s mental health1,
  2. Rulan S Parekh, professor of medicine and paediatrics2
  1. 1Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  2. 2Departments of Medicine, Paediatrics, Epidemiology, and Health Policy and Management Evaluation at Women’s College Hospital, Hospital for Sick Children, and University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  1. Correspondence to: L Galea Liisa.Galea{at}

Dedicated funding and education for all researchers are urgently needed

The health inequities facing women and gender diverse people are well known.1 Sex differences exist in both prevalence and manifestation of numerous disorders,1 making it challenging to diagnose and treat these disorders without recognising sex based disparities.123 For example, female patients are more likely than male patients to experience adverse effects from new drugs.4

In recognition of such differences, as far back as 1993 the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) mandated that women (and ethnically diverse people) should be included in all NIH funded clinical trials.5 Canadian and European funding agencies also implemented mandates for sex and gender diversity in health research.6 Despite these efforts, sex and gender related inequalities remain in both research and practice. Leading contributors are the low levels of funding for diseases that disproportionately affect women,78 lack of attention to sex or gender in analyses despite mandates from funding agencies,5910 and lack of research focused on improving the health …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription