Dr. Mercè Boada, medical director of Fundació ACE and member of the advisory board of the European Institute for Women's Health (EIWH), took part yesterday in the launch of the EU Manifesto for Women's Health in Brussels at the European Parliament. The presentation of the document, which has been prepared and promoted by the EIWH, will be the kick-off of the "Healthy Women - Healthy Europe" campaign aiming at prioritizing women’s health in the framework of the European Union (EU).
Through this initiative, the EIWH demands that the EU commit itself to reduce gender health inequalities so that health becomes equitable for all citizens, regardless of their sex or gender.
Currently, women face higher rates than men in diseases such as in breast cancer, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis or autoimmune diseases. In addition, many socio-economic and cultural factors such as violence against women, lack of decision making power, unfair work divisions, job insecurity or lower salaries and pensions (16% and 40% lower than those of men, respectively), have a negative impact on women's health. As a result, despite women in Europe outlive men by on average more than five years, their healthy life expectancy advantage is less than nine months.
The Manifesto also highlights that women’s health due to their reproductive role, affects the health of future generations. In addition, women also have a key role in health as health professionals, care givers and mothers, in an ageing Europe. According to the EIWH, the EU's GDP could increase in 2050 by 6-10% (2-3 trillion euros) if gender equality is improved.