Who We Are
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) is the thought leader in research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education.
Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the myriad of diseases and conditions that affect women uniquely. Due to SWHR’s efforts, women are now routinely included in most major medical research studies and scientists are beginning to consider biological sex as a variable in their research. Read the full history.
Today, SWHR advocates for greater public and private funding for women’s health research and the study of biological differences that:
- Affects the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease;
- Encourages the appropriate inclusion of women and minorities in medical research studies;
- Promotes the analysis of research data for biological and ethnic differences; and
- Informs women, health care providers, and policy makers about contemporary women’s health issues through media outreach, congressional briefings, public education campaigns, conferences and special events.
What We Do
SWHR works with researchers and clinicians to advance the field of sex-based biology. SWHR hosts scientific roundtables to encourage dialogue and research on biological differences.
SWHR established the following to further advance its mission:
- SWHR Networks – a series of networks comprised of researchers and clinicians, launched first in 2002, to foster interdisciplinary basic and clinical research on sex and gender differences.
As the thought-leader in biological differences research, SWHR is often called upon to offer expert testimony before Congress and to provide guidance on legislative and regulatory matters on women’s health. Every year, SWHR holds educational briefings for members of Congress and their staff on timely topics.
SWHR created the Women’s Health Research Coalition (WHRC) in 1999. This grassroots advocacy network of over 600 leaders at academic, medical, health and scientific institutions encourages coordination of and funding for women’s health research.
Due to SWHR’s advocacy and public policy efforts, women’s health issues are now a national priority.
SWHR runs numerous campaigns, conferences, and media briefings to educate the public on women’s health issues. We also publish a bi-weekly e-newsletter and monthly news service article to keep the public informed about news relevant to women’s health and biological differences.
SWHR’s website features information on conditions that affect women predominantly or differently than men. We promote the inclusion of women and minorities in clinical trials by educating the public on how to participate and what to expect if they do join a trial.
In January 2006, SWHR published its first book for consumers, The Savvy Woman Patient: How and Why Sex
Differences Impact Your Health. This consumer guide informs women about health conditions and treatments that are unique to women and focuses on how women’s health differs from men’s.
As a result of SWHR’s efforts, the study of sex differences has reached a wider audience with more women and minorities able to participate in clinical trials than ever before. Over the past 20 years, SWHR has successfully increased federal funding for biologically-based research, won the passage of notable legislative changes and put women’s health at the forefront of researchers’ minds. In 2013, we continue to identify gaps in health care that still exist, target those differences and close the gaps.
Crucial differences exist between men and women.
We are closing the gap through science, advocacy and education.
SWHR: Transforming Science