Gender Bias in Women’s Healthcare and Research to be highlighted at Science Week Festival

Media release

Dublin, Ireland - November 2021: The RCSI Rotunda Research Department has announced the return of ‘BIAS: Inequality in Women’s Health and Research’ - a Science Seek festival funded by Science Foundation Ireland. The festival of events will take place from November 7th – 14th and will focus on inequalities in women’s healthcare and the healthcare profession and look at how improvements can be made.

The festival lineup will include:

  • Talks on the history of Women in Medicine

  • Medicine and STEM Careers event for Transition Year Students

  • Q&A with Dr Jennifer Gunter, New York Times bestselling author of the 'Menopause Manifesto’ and OB/GYN.

  • Stories and interviews from women who have experienced bias in healthcare.

  • On Friday 12th November, Today FM presenter Alison Curtis will host a live panel event. She will be joined by guests from the Rotunda Hospital, the Women’s Health Taskforce, National Women’s Council of Ireland, for a discussion on women’s health followed by a Q & A session.

Dr Jennifer Donnelly, Consultant Obstetrician at the Rotunda Hospital and contributor to the BIAS festival, said: “There is a long history of bias in women’s health and research. Through our Science Week Festival, BIAS, we want to take time to discuss this inequity and the ways in which we can begin to overcome it. It is so important to talk about these biases across all arenas, including schools, universities and hospital settings, so that all those involved in healthcare and research can be aware of the biases that they may have.”

In relation to gender biases in healthcare, studies have shown that women are often at a disadvantage when it comes to diagnostics and treatment. At the live event on Friday 12th November, the expert panel will examine how international research can be applied to Irish healthcare and research. This includes:

  1. While 1 in 10 women have Endometriosis, according to the Endometriosis Association of Ireland (EAI) it takes an average of 9 years to be diagnosed in Ireland [i]

  2. Women wait 7 minutes longer than men for CPR to be activated [ii]

  3. On average, women received cancer diagnoses 2.5 years after men. They received diagnoses for metabolic diseases like diabetes 4.5 years later[iii]

  4. Women are more likely to experience chronic pain, yet are more likely to be prescribed sedatives than pain killers[iv]

To register for the panel event, please visit the dedicated ‘BIAS: Gender Inequality in Healthcare and Research’ website, which also include interviews with Irish experts, resources and quizzes - Participants can also join in on Instagram @bias_womens_health, Twitter @BIASWomenHealth and using the hashtag #BiasWomensHealth.

Science Week is an annual event funded by Science Foundation Ireland.


About the RCSI Rotunda Research Department:

The RCSI Rotunda Research Department aims to develop an International, European and global reputation for excellence in clinical research and work with our partners to conduct world-class, ground-breaking research in the perinatal space.

Its endeavours to benefit patients through clinical research, actively pursuing excellence in clinical and scientific research, and benchmarking its achievements with international publications and recognition.

International research – sources:





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