Bias: Inequality in Women's Healthcare and Research is a Science Week event supported and developed by RCSI/Rotunda Research Department. The event is funded by Science Foundation Ireland.
Female hysteria was once a common diagnosis for women, with a wide variety of symptoms including anxiety, fainting and “troublesome behaviour”. While it is no longer recognised as a medical condition, the word hysteria (from Greek “hystera’, meaning uterus) with its controversial associations, has left a mark on women’s healthcare. Recent history saw women as a ‘vulnerable’ group, excluded from research due to their life-bearing potential. This, coupled with decades of poor patient education and low health literacy (HL) levels, resulted in an extensive knowledge gap and lack of research participation in women’s health. Low HL is linked to a greater use of hospital services, less treatment compliance, and higher mortality rates.
BIAS aims to challenge public perceptions about women’s health, and then engage them on a variety of topics such as historical views on women’s health, gender bias in medicine, and women’s medical issues including endometriosis, contraception and mental health in pregnancy.
This project aims to bring to light existing gender biases in healthcare, and empower women by equipping them better to tackle these biases when they arise by improving their understanding of the current issues that women face, the healthcare resources available to them, and how research participation is vital to future advances in women’s health.
Dr Fred's Story
Inequality in Women's Healthcare and Research