Gender inequity in healthcare is systemic—and it’s not new. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that there is still so much we don’t know about women’s health.
Despite decades of progress in health research, policy, and practice, women still face many barriers in accessing the high-quality healthcare they deserve that do not impede men.
Misdiagnosis: Doctors are more likely to diagnose women’s pain as psychological, and are inclined to give women less pain medication than men.
Minimized symptoms: Women make up 70% of patients with “medically unexplained symptoms” and these symptoms are frequently incorrectly linked to a psychological origin.
Poorly targeted treatment: Women experience 50-75% of adverse drug reactions, yet many medications prescribed to women have often been tested only on men.
43% of Indigenous women in BC reported feeling their healthcare needs were not being met.
Many Indigenous women have experienced high levels of racism with practitioners making assumptions about their life experiences — an illustration of the ongoing impacts of colonization.
“I’d rather tell people I have a sexually transmitted infection, I think you know, then having to go get tested for COVID. I don’t know…there was something about it that was really stigmatizing.” - participant for In Her Circle 2021