Women still left out of medical research

As reported by HealthDay: “The science that informs medicine routinely fails to consider the impact of sex and gender, and this occurs at some of the earliest stages of research – from animal to human studies,” said report author Dr. Paula Johnson.

This is a concern because while cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death of women in the United States, “less than one-third of cardiovascular clinical trial participants are women, and only one-third of the trials that include women report sex-specific outcomes.”

Hormonal fluctuations are obviously a consideration in medical research on women, as is pregnancy and safety for unborn children.  However, one of the simplest solutions is to perform “more studies on the natural history of diseases in women,” which only involves tracking women’s health, rather than testing.

The other solution is to acknowledge that (more than) half the population experiences hormonal fluctuations, so science should obviously build the necessary capacity to accommodate that into its work.

Bad news for women in film

This year’s Celluloid Ceiling report found a DECREASE in the number of women directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors working in the top 250 grossing films from the United States.  Author of the study, Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D., found that women accounted for 16 per cent of the behind-the-scenes employment in the film industry, a decrease of two per cent since 2012 and a decrease of one per cent from 1998.

Lauzen has written the report for the past 16 years, so to see no progress is more than disappointing, it’s infuriating.  This year was the first time the report also examined the employment of women as composers, production designers, sound designers, special effects supervisors, supervising sound editors and visual effects supervisors.

No progress in 16 years!!! Shame!!!

WHO warns of lifestyle-induced cancer epidemic

In its World Cancer Report 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has predicted that the number of new cases of cancer could soar 70 per cent to nearly 25 million a year over the next 20 years.  Half of those cases could be prevented.

The authors of the report stress the need for prevention, particularly as many of the new cases are associated “with increasing use of tobacco, consumption of alcohol and highly processed foods and lack of physical activity” – the diseases of affluence.

Have you taken the 2014 reproductive rights pledge?

Published by the National Organization for Women (NOW)

Stand Together: The Reproductive Rights Pledge for 2014

All women have the right to have the children they want, raise the children they have, and plan their families through safe, legal abortion, and access to contraception, and pre- and post-natal care. For those rights to become a reality, women in all communities need to have the resources and the economic, social and political power to make health decisions about their bodies, their sexuality and their reproduction.

I pledge to…

  • Speak out: Words have power. I won’t use the words “pro-life” to describe those who support anti-choice policies that demean and disempower women. I will also encourage those around me to identify violence against abortion providers for what it is: terrorism.
  • Talk: I will talk to my family, friends, and neighbors about the need to promote all women’s ability to make independent decisions, free from undue pressure and coercion. And I’ll urge them to keep a candidate’s stance on these issues in mind when they enter the voting booth.
  • Stay informed: I’ll maintain awareness of reproductive rights legislation in my state. One way of staying informed is subscribing to NOW action alerts (you can sign up automatically through this pledge).
  • Get involved locally: I’ll reach out to groups that provide clinic defense or escort services in my area, work for safe, affordable reproductive healthcare access in my community, or get involved with my local NOW chapter.
  • Get involved online: I’ll use Twitter, Facebook and blogs to connect with others — in my town, my state, my country and across the globe — working for reproductive freedom and justice.

At present we know only that the imagination, like certain wild animals, will not breed in captivity. George Orwell