Leave No (Disabled) Woman Behind
It’s International Women’s Day 2018, and this year’s theme is “Leave No Woman Behind”. As a woman with a genetic illness, which is at times disabling, I fully support recent moves to make feminism more intersectional. The one area that isn’t being as obviously included in these efforts is disability and chronic illness. Today, I wanted to share some thoughts on experiencing gender discrimination in medicine:
As I mentioned in my video, there is a massive lack of research in the area of women’s health. So much isn’t known about how the female body functions, how medicines interact with our bodies. Not to mention the over-use of the contraceptive pill, or lack of general knowledge on the menstrual cycle.
As an advocate for women with long-term health conditions, I support all ill and disabled women to own their stories and share them. Even though its not what others want to hear. Especially when you’re called ‘difficult’, ‘disrespectful’ or ‘unreasonable’ – I now take that as a sign what I have to say is likely to cause change, and therefore is upsetting to those working in or for current systems. To paraphrase a friend, change occurs when the established way of doing things is challenged. I invite you all to join me in continually challenging the way things are done, the way we talk about ourselves and our bodies, and your own ideas and preconceived notions on the way things are meant to be.
Individually, and together, we can change the world. Any of us can become ill or disabled at any stage – let’s ensure none of us are left behind.
If you want to learn more about women’s health & health advocacy, I recommend reading these post on my blog:
Why I no longer take The Pill
The dark side of healing
My Favourite Cycle Healing Resources
Coming off the Pill – A real story
*I regularly read and purchase products from each of these ladies and receive no endorsement for recommending them
I would be honoured if you felt open to sharing your story with gendered access (or lack thereof) to medical care – post in the comments, or send me an email.
Do you have a favourite women’s health researcher or advocate I should be following? Add them in a comment below!